Complaints Procedure Policy

 

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COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE POLICY

 

NB

 A copy of this Complaints Procedure is available in the waiting room for Patients to read at Central Surgery and Thorpe Surgery and in the reception areas.

 All complaints are dealt with immediately when they are received, whether verbal or written.  This is usually done by the Practice Manager.  Every complaint is treated seriously and if a Patient needs to make a complaint, it will be dealt with, without any discrimination form our Practice.

 

VERBAL COMPLAINTS

If a patient complains verbally, this complaint is passed on to the Practice Manager.  The Practice Manager may be able to deal with it if it is in an administrative area.

The Practice Manager should listen to the patient’s complaint and follow the points below:

  • Be sympathetic
  • Give a full verbal explanation
  • Apologise, if appropriate.
  • Keep good notes
  • Remember patients may be frightened or in pain and may not always act rationally at first.
  • Seek expert advice early. 

Do not:

  • Forget confidentiality
  • Avoid the complainant
  • Tamper with notes
  • Disparage a colleague
  • Give a written explanation without expert advice
  • Assume the complaint is motivated by malice 

If it is in an administrative area, the Practice Manager will look into the complaint without delay and contact the patient.  Sometimes the Practice Manager may take the advice of a legal medical organisation first, before contacting the patient. This will be by telephone, letter or at a meeting at the surgery.  Sometimes the patient prefers a meeting at the surgery when contacted. 

If the complaint is of a clinical nature, this complaint must be passed on to the Doctor immediately.  The Doctor may seek advise from a legal medical organisation first, before contacting the patient.  The Doctor may contact the patient by telephone, visit or letter.

 

WRITTEN COMPLAINTS

The Practice Manager may be able to deal with a written complaint if it is in an administrative area

It is important to follow the points listed in the verbal complaint section of the Complaints Procedure. 

If it is in an administrative area, the Practice Manager will look into the complaint without delay and contact the patient.  This will be by telephone, letter or at a meeting at the surgery.  Sometimes the patient’s prefers a meeting when contacted.

If the complaint cannot be answered straight away, the Practice Manager will acknowledge the Patient’s letter of complaint within two working days of receiving it, advising them that the complaint is being looked into.  The patient will be advised that they will be contacted after the investigations are completed.  The Practice Manager may take the advice of a medical legal organisation before replying. The reply to the patient’s complaint will be by telephone or letter. The patient may prefer to have a meeting at the surgery with the Practice Manager.

If the complaint is of a clinical nature, this complaint must be passed on to the Doctor immediately.  The Doctor may seek advice from a legal medical organisation first before contacting the patient.  The Doctor may contact the Patient by telephone, visit or letter.

The patient may have more enquiries after the first reply from the Doctor.  These enquiries are to be dealt with straight away as in the first instance of receiving the initial complaint.

If a complaint is unresolved, the patient may like to take the complaint further. If the Patient wishes, they may contact NHS England for further guidance.  Please use the following information for this: 

Tel:  0300 311 2233
E-mail:
    england.contactus@nhs.net

General Post (including complaints):

NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

Address for service of legal proceedings and formal letters of claim:

NHS England, Legal Team, 4W08 4th Floor, Quarry House, Leeds LS2 7UE.

 NB

If a complainant wishes, they may contact NHS England Complaints, in the first instance on the above contact details, if they wish to make a complaint, rather than go through the Practice.

The patient may feel that the complaint is unresolved and may take the complaint further.  Everyone concerned with the complaint whether it is an administrative or a clinical complaint should co-operate with the Patient’s wishes in order to conclude the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties.

Ultimately if the complaint remains unresolved, the second and final stage is referral to the Health Service Ombudsman.

 Support in making a complaint is also available from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) on the main helpline number : 0300 456 2370.  The Essex POhWER ICAS Helpline Line Number is:  0845 456 1083 Fax:  0845 337 3051.

 Ultimately if the complaint remains unresolved, the second and final stage is referral to the Parliamentary  and Health Service Ombudsman.   Helpline:  0345 015 4033  Fax:  0300 061 4000 

Practice Manager

Signed:                        29th August 2017

Review Date:                     August 2018

 

 

 

 

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Central Surgery - 1st Floor, North Road Primary Care Centre, 183-195 North Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7AF
  • Telephone 01702 342589
Thorpe Surgery - 38 Acacia Drive, Thorpe Bay, Essex, SS1 3JX
  • Telephone 01702 588046
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