SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS
Your complaint or concern
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 the NHS system that meets national criteria for dealing with complaints.
How to complain
We hope 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 – 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 the Practice Manager. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager to discuss your concerns. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and make sure your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as detailed as possible about your complaint.
What we shall do
We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and aim to investigate it within ten working days from the date you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint we shall aim to:
• Find out what happened and why
• Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like to do this
• Make sure you receive a full explanation and apology if appropriate
• Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again if appropriate
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 written note signed by the person concerned will be needed (unless they are incapable because of illness of providing this).
Complaints will, in the first instance, be dealt with by the Practice Manager.
If the complaint is made verbally, the complainant will be asked to put the complaint in writing to ensure that an accurate version of events is presented to the GP or member of staff involved.
Once the initial contact has been made, whether verbally or in writing, the nature of the complaint will be recorded in the complaints log.
The complaint will be acknowledged in writing immediately and it will be explained to the complainant that they can expect a response within 14 days. A copy of the practice complaints procedure will be sent to the complainant.
The matter will be discussed with a senior partner (or deputy) and a full internal investigation will take place with the GP or member of staff involved.
The results of the investigation will be put in writing and sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the internal investigation they will be invited to attend the surgery, with a friend if he/she wants, to discuss the complaint and the findings of the internal investigation.
Written confirmation of the outcome of the meeting will be sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.
If the complaint remains unresolved the complainant will be informed of his/her right to pursue the complaint with Mendip Primary Care Trust.
Where necessary the practice will consider any internal action required to ensure a similar incident does not occur in the future
Other organisations who can investigate your complaint independently
We hope that, if you have a problem you will use the practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give both parties the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve practice procedures, but should you remain dissatisfied with our response to your complaint you can contact the following organisations:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service - PALS
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is here to help when you need advice, have concerns or don't know where to turn. As a patient, relative or carer, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice and support. This is where the Patient Advice and Liaison Service can help. This service is free and confidential. Their aim is to help sort out any problems or concerns you may have when using health services, agree the best way forward to deal with a problem and get it resolved as quickly as possible.
Please visit the PALS website for more information PALS
If you feel that the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) has not been able to satisfactorily resolve your concerns, further details about how to make a formal complaint will be provided to you. Alternatively, further information about how to make a complaint can be obtained from the Complaints section of this website.
If your concerns or queries are about a GP practice, dental practice, optician or pharmacy you will need to contact either the individual practice or the NHS England Customer Contact Centre. Please visit NHS England Website for more information.
If you remain dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, you have the right to ask the Care Quality Commission to review your case. This should be done within six months of the conclusion of Local Resolution.
The Care Quality Commission is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare through the assessment of the performance of those who provide services. Please visit CQC Website for information.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Please visit Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Website for more information.
Independent Health Complaints Advocacy
Please visit The Advocacy People for more information.