We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
Patient Complaints – Information
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, please let us know. We operate a practice complaint procedure as part of an NHS complaints system, which meets national criteria.
How to Complain
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 formal complaint, please do so AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If doing that is not possible your complaint should be submitted within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem. You should address your complaint in writing to the surgery team leader. They will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way. You should be as specific and concise as possible.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep stricly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are not the patient, but are complaining on their behalf, 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.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have fully investigated soon after. If we expect it to take a long period of time we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to finish. When we look into your complaint, we will investigate the circumstances; make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned; make sure you receive an apology if this is appropriate, and take steps to make sure any problem does not arise again.
You will receive a final letter setting out the result of any practice investigations.
Taking it Further
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you may refer the matter to:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 0154033
PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
The NHS employs over a million staff in thousands of locations. It is a large and complex organisation providing a broad range of services. It is not surprising that sometimes you or a loved one may feel bewildered or concerned when using the NHS. And this can be at times when you are feeling at your most vulnerable and anxious.
So, what should you do if you want on the spot help when using the health service? The NHS expects all members of staff to listen and respond to you to the best of their ability. But sometimes, you may wish to talk to someone employed especially to help you. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS, has been introduced to ensure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and answers their questions and resolves their concerns as quickly as possible.
PALS also helps the NHS to improve services by listening to what matters to patients and their loved ones and making changes, when appropriate.
What does PALS do?
In particular, PALS will:
- Provide you with information about the NHS and help you with any other health-related enquiry
- Help resolve concerns or problems when you are using the NHS
- Provide information about the NHS complaints procedure and how to get independent help if you decide you may want to make a complaint
- Provide you with information and help introduce you to agencies and support groups outside the NHS
- Inform you about how you can get more involved in your own healthcare and the NHS locally
- Improve the NHS by listening to your concerns, suggestions and experiences and ensuring that people who design and manage services are aware of the issues you raise
- Provide an early warning system for NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies by identifying problems or gaps in services and reporting them.
Find out more
If you would like more information about PALS, please follow this link.