Complaints Policy

Making a Complaint

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 an NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.

Where it is not possible to resolve your complaint 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) as this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be within 12 months of the incident or within 12 months of your discovering that you have a problem.

Complaints should be posted to the Surgery or sent via the ‘Feedback & Complaints’ section of our website (www.cliftonroadsurgery.co.uk). In order for us to investigate your complaint within a timely manner, it is important that you are as specific as possible about your complaint.

You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. Please see the separate section in this procedure.

You may wish to contact the VoiceAbility who can offer NHS complaints advocacy and assistance with making a complaint. The telephone number is 0300 303 1660. Alternatively, you may refer your complaint to NHS England, details of which are given below.

What We Do Next

We look to settle complaints as soon as possible.

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt.

If you raise a clinical complaint this will be dealt with initially by Julie Ball, Managing Partner. If you are raising an appointment/telephone service complaint, this will be dealt with initially by Gill Walker, Reception Team Manager. We always endeavor to respond within a reasonable timeframe. If the matter is likely to take longer we will let you know and keep you informed as the investigation progresses. On occasions it may be more beneficial for all parties involved to be invited to attend a meeting to discuss the complaint and agree a way forward.

When we look into your complaint, we attempt to see what happened; why it has happened; see if there is anything we can learn from; identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.

When the investigations are complete the outcome of your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.

The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied.

Please note that the way we respond to complaints in this Practice means that we are not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation.

Complaining On Behalf of Someone Else

We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A letter signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of disability/illness) of providing this.

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.

We may still need to correspond direct with the patient, or may be able to deal direct with the third party, and this depends on the wording of the authority provided.

NHS England

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our Practice Complaints Procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. However, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint directly with us you may contact NHS England. The contact details are:

Customer Contact Centre NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch
B97 9PT

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33

Email: england.contactus@nhs.net

Conciliation

We are always happy to meet with you to discuss any remaining concerns you may have. However, you may prefer such a meeting to be held through the conciliation process. The services of a lay conciliator are available through the complaints department at NHS England, contact details as above.

If You Are Dissatisfied With The Outcome

You have the right to approach the Ombudsman. The contact details are:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Telephone: 0345 015 4033

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk