A brief guide on how to voice your appreciation, complaints or concerns
Compliments, Comments, Concerns and Complaints
We aim to provide our patients with the best care we can and would like to hear from you if you think we have done something well, or if you have suggestions on how we could do something differently. Equally we know that there will be times when we fall short of the mark and want to know if you are unhappy with our service.
We would encourage you to speak to whoever you feel most comfortable with – your doctor, a nurse, a receptionist or manager, but if you prefer to give your feedback in writing, please send it to the Practice Manager at the address detailed on the front of this booklet. We would also welcome your comments, concerns and ideas through our Patient Participation Group who can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a complaint please do not be afraid to say how you feel. We welcome feedback to help us improve our standards and you will not be treated any differently because you have complained. We will do our best to put right anything that has gone wrong and this leaflet aims to help you to make your views known to us.
Who can make a complaint?
Complaints can be made by patients either on their own behalf or by a representative (with written consent).
What are the time limits for making a complaint?
As soon as you can whilst you can remember the details clearly. Usually the NHS Complaints Procedures only deal with complaints made within 12 months of the event or within 12 months of finding out that there is something that you should complain about. This time limit might be waived if there are good reasons why you were not able to let us know earlier and we can still carry out an effective investigation.
When something goes wrong
If you have a complaint or concern the quickest way to resolve it is to speak to a member of the team and if they can resolve it straight away they will do so. If not, they will refer the matter to the Practice Manager who will take matters from there.
What happens next?
The Practice Manager will acknowledge your complaint and make early contact with you (within 3 days) to discuss the way forward. The discussion can be face to face but need not be depending upon what is most convenient for all concerned.
Your complaint will be investigated within an agreed timescale and you will be kept informed of progress.
What other options do I have?
Complaints can be directed to NHS England rather than the practice and they may undertake the complaint handling or in some cases with your consent, may refer the complaint back to the practice. NHS England is obliged to notify the practice about any complaints it receives with your consent.
What happens if the complaint involves a hospital?
Where other organisations such as hospitals are involved in the complaint, we will aim to provide you with a co-ordinated response covering all aspects of your complaint. Where a complaint is solely about a third party, we may seek your agreement to pass th e complaint to them.
Once the investigation has been concluded a letter will be sent to you setting out how we investigated your complaint as well as details of the actions taken or to be taken as a result of our findings. We hope that your complaint will be resolved at this stage, but if not we may invite you to discuss what else might be done. If you remain unhappy, we will write to advise you that we are satisfied with the way the complaint has been investigated and to provide you with details of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to whom you will then have recourse.
Who can help with your complaint?
If you have a concern or complaint abut a GP or practice that can’t be resolved locally with the practice, please contact:
NHS Commissioning Board
P O Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Telephone: 0300 311 2233
SEAP are an Independent Advocacy Service who are available to support you and represent your views when making a complaint – they can accompany you to meetings to discuss your complaint and provide support or an interpreter.
SEAP Kent Advocacy, P O Box 375, Hastings, TN34 9HU
Telephone: 0300 343 5714
If you remain dissatisfied with the response from the practice (or NHS England where your complaint was investigated by them) then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. They would require a clear statement of what issues remain outstanding.
The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
Telephone: 0345 015 4033