This procedure sets out the Practice’s approach to the handling of complaints and is intended as an internal guide which should be made readily available to all staff. A leaflet for patient use is given at Appendix A.
The Practice will take reasonable steps to ensure that patients are aware of:
- The complaints procedure and ensure that the complaints procedure is accessible to all patients and made available on request.
- The practice makes readily available Patient Complaints leaflet within the main areas of the surgery.
- The role of the NHS England and other bodies in relation to complaints about services.
- Their right to assistance with any complaint from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
Receiving of Complaints
The practice may receive a complaint made by a patient or (with his/her consent) on behalf of a patient, or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the practice, or:
- Where the patient is a child:
- By either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child
- by a person duly authorised by a local authority to whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989
- By a person duly authorised by a voluntary organisation by which the child is being accommodated
- Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a relative or other adult who has an interest in his/her
Period within which complaints can be made
The period for making a complaint is:
- Six months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred
- Six months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant’s notice (provided that the complaint is made no longer than 12 months after the date of the event)
The practice will nominate:
- The practice manager (Mike Newbold) to be responsible for the operation of the complaints procedure and the investigation of complaints
- Dr D Singh to be responsible for the effective management of the complaints procedure and for ensuring that action is taken in the light of the outcome of any investigation
Action upon receipt of a complaint
Complaints may be received either verbally or in writing and must be forwarded to the Practice Manager who must:
- acknowledge in writing within the period of three working days beginning with the day on which the complaint was made or, where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable.
- ensure the complaint is properly investigated
- within the period of 10 working days beginning with the day on which the complaint was received by the Practice Manager where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable, the complainant must be given a written statement of the investigation and its conclusions. If the complainant remains dissatisfied and with their agreement, the Complaints Officer may arrange a meeting with a Partner, or other senior person associated with the practice to help resolve the complainants
Review of Complaints
Complaints received by the practice will be reviewed to ensure that learning points are shared with the whole practice team.
- Complaints received during the month will be reviewed monthly at meetings of practice staff to ensure any actions required are put into
- A full review of all complaints will be carried out annually to identify any trends or additional actions/learning points, ensuring sustainable changes in practice are achieved, monitored and reviewed.
All complaints must be treated in the strictest confidence
Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, the Complaints Officer must 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
The practice must keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints in a confidential way, ensuring that all such records must be kept separate from a patient’s medical records.