Making a Complaint
We aim to provide you with the best possible medical service. At times you may feel that we have not achieved this and want to make your feelings known. Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably within writing, as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days as this helps us to establish what happened more easily.
The period for making a complaint is normally:
- 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred or
- 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant’s notice.
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format if you wish.
The practice's complaint manager is Joanna Dunsford (Practice Manager)
Please send your written complaint to:
Ms Joanna Dunsford, Glendale Medical Centre, 155 High Street, Harlington, Hayes, UB3 5DA
or by email to email@example.com
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint but are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it. Please ask at reception for the complaints form which includes a statement of authority that the patient can sign. Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter. Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the above circumstances apply.
All complaints must be treated in the strictest confidence.
Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, the Practice Manager must inform the patient or person acting on his or 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 but such records must be kept separate from patients’ medical records.
The practice has an annual review of complaints received within the year and the learning issues or changes to procedures which have arisen are documented.
What we do next
We aim to settle complaints as soon as possible. We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days, and aimed to have investigated the matter within 10 working days. You may then receive a formal response in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) involved in order to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this then we will inform you of this, and will keep you updated throughout the investigation process.
When looking into a complaint we aim to determine what happened and why, in order to see if any lessons could be learned from the issue. We aim to make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved should you wish to do so. When the investigations are complete you will receive a written response.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. Social services), then we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to the incorrect organisation, then we will seek your consent to forward your complaint to the correct organisation.
The final response will contain details of your complaint as well as details of how to escalate the matter should you be dissatisfied with the response.
If you are Dissatisfied with the Outcome
You have the right to approach the Health Service Ombudsman. Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Tel: 0345 0154033 Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk
You may also approach PALS for help or advice; The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is based at NHS England who provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.