All complaints will be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt and agreement reached with the complainant about the expected time scale and outcome of the investigation.
- Confidentiality will be respected at all times and the patient’s consent will be sought where complaints are made by anybody other than the patient themselves.
- The practice manager will undertake a thorough investigation of events and seek to address all aspects of a patient’s complaint; taking advice and where beneficial, arranging meetings with the complainant.
- The practice will also ensure that links are established with Social Services and other agencies to ensure a seamless response to
- Every effort will be made to keep the complainant informed of progress and for a final response to be sent to the complainant by the senior partner within the agreed timescale.
- The practice manager will keep a record of all complaints received together with details of timescales and outcomes. This information
will contribute to the identification of service improvements, staff training needs as well as forming part of the practice’s Annual Report on Complaints for the CCG.
To ensure all complaints receive thorough and timely investigation and a detailed response aimed at resolving issues to the satisfaction of all parties. Communicate effectively with the complainant, agreeing a way forward for handling their complaint and meeting agreed timescales. Ensure patients’ concerns are heard and acted upon; encourage and train front line staff to play an active role to resolve issues and where appropriate, to refer matters to the Complaints Manager in a timely manner.
View patient complaints seriously, identify trends and apply learning to improve services for the benefit of all patients.
However this does not affect your right to approach NHS England Kent & Medway if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the way we are dealing with your complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with this response, then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman, by writing to Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. They can also be contacted on 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk. They would require a clear statement of what issues remained outstanding.
However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.
What happens next?
- This policy is concerned with formal complaints defined as “An expression of dissatisfaction from a patient or their duly authorised representative, or any person who is affected by or likely to be affected by the action, omission or decision the practice, whether justified or not.”
- Complaints will be investigated if they are made within 12 months of the event(s) concerned or within 12 months of there being a discovery that there was a cause for complaint. (The practice may waive these timescales if there is good reason for the complaint not being made earlier and it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and efficiently.)
- The complaints process will be managed by the Practice Manager under the Practice’s Complaints Procedures and in accordance with NHS Complaints Regulations. Once all investigations are complete, the practice’s response to the complainant will advise them of their right to request a review by the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman should they remain dissatisfied.