Patient Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints.
Our complaints system meets national criteria. If you make a complaint it will not affect the care we provide for you.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint.
- Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints should be addressed to Paula Cross, Practice Manager, or any of the doctors. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Paula Cross (or one of her managers in her absence) in order to discuss your concerns. They will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and aim to have investigated your complaint within 28 working days of the date when you raised it with us. We will then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved.
When we look into your complaint, we aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong;
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (for example – because of illness) of providing this.
Complaining to other authorities
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. But this does not affect your right to approach the local health authority, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us.
You should contact NHS England, using the contact details shown below.
PO Box 16738
- Address with subject line: ‘For the attention of the complaints manager’.
- Provide as much information as possible to allow NHS England to investigate the complaint.
Include some or all of the following:
- your name and a valid email or home address for reply;
- a clear description of your complaint;
- copies of earlier associated correspondence between yourself and NHS England (if relevant)
- any valid correspondence case reference numbers if provided on any previous contact.
With ‘For the attention of the complaints manager’ in the subject line. Then the information as above.
0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays)
If you are unsure whether you want to make a complaint but you would still like to resolve an issue, you can call the Community Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS). This service can help you with advice, information and support. Their contact details are:
GUiDE and PALS
5220 Valiant Court
Gloucester Business Park
Freephone: 0800 0151 548
Telephone: 08456 583888
Fax: 08456 583801
If you have a genuine concern about a staff member or regulated activity carried out by this Practice then you can contact the Care Quality Commission on 03000 616161 or visit their website: www.cqc.org.uk
As a last result, if you are unhappy with the way we have responded to your complaint then you can refer directly to the Health Service Ombudsman who investigates complaints about the NHS in England. You can call the Ombudsman’s Complaints Helpline on 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk or textphone (minicom): 0300 061 4298