We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our Practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong, resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would like the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To have your complaint investigated, you need to complain within 12 months of the event happening, or as soon as you first become aware of the issue you want to complain about.
The time limit can be extended in special circumstances.
We can arrange for a meeting with the Patient Services Manager and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.
How to make a compliment or complaint
Whether you are happy or unhappy with the care and treatment that you have received, please get in touch and let us know your views. You can contact the practice directly or email email@example.com . Complaints do not need to be made in writing – our Patient Services Manager is happy to discuss your complaint either on the telephone or in person at a mutually convenient time.
Receiving compliments and complaints is important to ensuring good quality local healthcare in our Practice – helping us to find out more about what we’re getting right and what we can improve.
We hope this will help you to make your feelings and experiences known to the appropriate people. Should you have a complaint we hope this page will give you more information about what to do, who to contact and what happens next.
How do I raise a concern / informal complaint?
You can speak to any member of staff initially with your complaint. This gives us the opportunity to resolve any concern you may have without it going through a formal process.
What we will do
If you need to complain, we will:
- Strive to deal with your complaint promptly and effectively
- Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 2 working days
- Fully investigate your concerns
- Treat you with respect and courtesy
- Arrange for you to discuss the problem with those concerned where it is appropriate to do so
- Explain the complaints procedure and indicate where you can obtain further help or advice with your complaint
- Identify what we can do to make sure that the same problem does not occur again
- Provide a full response within 20 working days or if we are unable to do because we are still investigating, provide you with an update on progress
- Tell you the outcome of your complaint
- Take any necessary action in the light of the outcome of the complaint
If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact the NHS Complaints team on 0300 311 22 33 or write to them at:
PO Box 16738
You can also email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Patient Services Manager or ask a member of our Patient Services Team on reception for a copy of our leaflet on How to Make a Complaint. We will endeavour to:
- Acknowledge any complaint letter or email within 3 working days of receiving it.
- Deal with the matter as promptly as possible – usually within 20 working days – dependent on the nature of the complaint.
Who can complain
- Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
- Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
- Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.
If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality and we cannot provide confidential information without the appropriate authority if you are not the patient in question. Please speak to a member of our team if you wish you complain on behalf of someone else and they have not already provided consent.
In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.
- For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
- If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.
If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.
A complaint should be made within 12 months, either from the date of the incident or from when the complainant first knew about it.
The regulations state that a responsible body should only consider a complaint after this time limit if:
- the complainant has good reason for doing so, and
- it’s still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.
Complain to the Ombudsman
If, after receiving our response to your complaint, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.
The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
London SW1P 4QP
Phone: 0345 015 4033
Other organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services
All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.
We keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.
Statistics and reporting
The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.