HERE TO HELP
We always aim to provide a professional, quality, and caring service, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the personnel working in this practice, the following information explains our in-house complaints procedure.
Our practice procedure is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation. We hope you will use it to allow us to investigate, and if necessary, correct any problems that you have identified, or mistakes that have been made. If you use this procedure, it will not affect your right to complain to any other organisation detailed in this procedure.
This procedure only covers complaints about our service. Should you wish to complain about any other service provider, you should contact them directly in the first instance. If you are unsure of the contact numbers, please try their head office for advice on how to make your complaint.
WHO CAN COMPLAIN?
Complaints can be made by patients, former patients, someone who is affected, or likely to be affected, by the action, omission or decision of individuals working at the practice or by a representative of a patient.
Please note that we must respect our duty of confidentiality to patients. We do understand that, in some circumstances, patients are unable to complain for themselves for example if they are elderly or children or if they are vulnerable. We are happy to accept a complaint made by a third party if we can be sure that they are acting according to the wishes of the patient or in their best interests. If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of one of our patients, you must have their permission to do so. An authority signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable (because of illness or infirmity) of providing this. A Third-Party Consent Form is provided below.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent i.e.. a child, due to illness or accident or incapacity it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your complaint.
HOW TO COMPLAIN
It makes the most sense for you to come to us first if you have a complaint about our services, since only we can sort out a problem with our services, and we can only do that, if we know about it.
We hope that we can sort most problems out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.
If you wish to make a complaint this must be a written complaint. This ensures that we can understand the specifics of any complaint and be sure to answer them comprehensively and accurately. We ask that you make the complaint as soon as possible, ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
The time constraint on bringing a complaint is within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.
We will investigate a complaint which is made more than 12 months after the event but cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer a full response due to the passage of time. Consideration of whether a previously investigated case should be reopened will only happen if further additional information comes to light.
You should send your complaint in writing to the Practice Manager:
Oakenhurst Medical Practice
Barbara Castle Way Health Centre
We are able to provide you with a complaints form which can be obtained from reception, or you can provide this in your own format providing this covers all the necessary aspects. You should state your case clearly and be as specific and concise as possible.
Your complaint should be posted into the Practice or handed in at the main reception desk. In the event you have an issue with posting or attending the practice you can contact reception for the Practice email address. This is the practice email, and you should be aware this could be seen by relevant practice staff who are dealing with the practice email box. It will be passed through to the Practice Manager, but If you wish to keep the complaint private, then we do suggest it is handed in via the reception desk or posted for the attention of the Practice Manager.
If for any reason you do not want to submit your complaint directly to the practice, then you can request that NHS England investigates your complaint. They will contact us on your behalf:
PO BOX 16738
WHAT WE WILL DO
We look to settle complaints as soon as possible and we will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.
We aim to have fully investigated your complaint within 30 working days of the date it was received. If we expect it to take longer, we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to finish.
You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if appropriate, take steps to make sure any problem does not arise again and make sure you receive an apology if this is appropriate. When the investigations are complete 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 with the response.
Where a complainant becomes aggressive or, despite following the Complaints Procedure, unreasonable in their promotion of the complaint the following formal provisions may apply.
Any provisions will be communicated to the complainant:
- The complaint will be managed by one named individual at senior level who will be the only contact for the patient.
- Contact method will be advised (e.g. letter, telephone)
- There will be a time limit set for each contact
- The number of contacts within a period will be restricted.
- There will be a witness present for all face to face and telephone contacts.
- Repeated complaints from the same complainant for the same issue will be refused
- Further correspondence in respect of closed matters will only be acknowledged not responded to
- Expected standards of behaviour will be advised
- Irrelevant documentation will be returned
- Detailed records of all contact will be kept
TAKING IT FURTHER
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome to your complaint from either NHS England or the Practice, you may refer the matter to the Ombudsman:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 0154033
If you require independent advice about the complaints process, there are organisations which can help. Please see relevant details below.
- Advocacy Focus can be contacted on 0300 323 0965
- Advocacy Access can be contacted on 0345 456 3210
- Age UK can be contacted on 0800 055 6112
- Local Council may also give advice on local advocacy Services