We are committed to providing the highest standard of care and we make every effort to give the best service possible to every patient. 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. You should be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity at all times. We want to assure you that making a complaint will not harm or prejudice the care that you, or the person you care for, are given.
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 patient’s behalf).
- Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity are 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 the 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 the lasting power of attorney.
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 our Practice Manager, and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.
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 a representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.
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.
How do I raise a Complaint?
If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Practice by clicking on the link below or write to us by post. We endeavour to acknowledge any letter or complaints form within 3 working days of receiving it, and to deal with the matter as promptly as possible- usually within 25 working days- dependent on the nature of the complaint.
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Invite you to discuss the problem with those involved, if you would like this
- Apologise where this is appropriate
- Identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again.
If, after receiving our final decision, 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
Help & Advice
The NHS provides free advice and support
for complaints- CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
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.