- The Practice has nominated Sarah Hope (Practice Manager) as its Complaints Manager, to be responsible for managing the procedures for handling and considering complaints in accordance with the Policy and Procedure.
- The Practice has nominated Dr Jennie Bailey (Senior Partner) as its Responsible Person, to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Policy and Procedure, and in particular ensuring that action is taken if necessary in the light of the outcome of a complaint.
- The Practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure that patients are aware of:
- The Complaints Procedure (the following information is displayed in the Practice Booklet and on the Practice Website)
We always try to provide the best services possible, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. In this instance we have a formal complaints procedure in place for you to use if you feel you have any complaint about the practice, medical or non-medical.
In the event of a complaint please contact our practice manager, Sarah Hope. Complaints may be written, verbal or via a designated representative. A written record of your complaint will be made and your complaint acknowledged. An investigation will be undertaken and we will provide you with a response detailing the investigation undertaken, the outcome and appropriate action when necessary.
If you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us, and your complaint is about care you have received at the practice, then you can raise this with:
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch. B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
If a complaint is investigated by either ourselves or NHS England, and you then remain dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, you have the right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your case.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London. SW1P 4QP
Tel: 0345 015 4033
If your complaint is not about a service the practice provides:
If about a commissioned service:
Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Patient Services Team, Halesfield 6 , Telford. TF7 4BF
Tel: 01952 580407
If about Princess Royal Hospital:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Grainger Drive, Apley Castle, Telford. TF1 6TF
Tel: 01952 282888 or 01952 641222 ext 4382
If about Royal Shrewsbury Hospital:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Mytton Oak Road, Copthorne, Shrewsbury. SY3 8XQ
Tel: 01743 261691 or 0800 783 0057
If about Community Health: (Includes: District Nursing, Health Visitors, Community Physiotherapy, Child Mental Health Services)
Complaints Manager, William Farr House, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury. SY3 8XL.
Tel: 01743 277616
If about Adult Mental Health:
Complaints Manager, South Staffordshire Healthcare, NHS Trust, St George’s Hospital, Corporation Street, Stafford. ST16 3AG
Tel: 01785 783026
Services to assist patients with reporting complaints:
Patient Advice Liaison Service on 0800 030 4563
POhWER a client led charity to provide Advocacy Services to patients in Shropshire. Tel: 0300 456 2370 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
- Patients who make a complaint will not be discriminated against or be subject to any negative effect on their care, treatment or support.
- Where a complaint investigation requires access to the patient's medical records and involves disclosure of this information to a person outside the Practice, Sarah Hope (Practice Manager), the Complaints Manager, will inform the patient or person acting on their behalf.
- The Practice will maintain a complete record of all complaints and copies of all related correspondence. These records will be kept separately from patients' medical records.
Patients may make a complaint in writing, via the Practice website comments and suggestions form or verbally.
Whichever option is chosen, the practice will endeavour to acknowledge the complaint within 3 working days from receipt.
Receipt and acknowledgement of complaints
The Practice may receive the following complaints:
- A complaint made directly by the patient or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice;
- A complaint made on behalf of a patient or former patient (with his/her consent), who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice;
Where the patient is a child:
- By either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child;
- By a person duly authorised by a Local Authority into whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989;
- By a person duly authorised by a voluntary organisation, by which the child is being accommodated.
- Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a representative who has an interest in his/her welfare.
- All complaints, whether written or verbal will be recorded by Sarah Hope in the Complaints Review spreadsheet.
- If the Practice identifies that the complaint will involve an additional provider it will agree with that provider which organisation will take the lead in responding and communicating with the complainant.
Periods of time within which complaints can be made
- The periods of time within which a complaint can be made is normally:
- 12 months from the date on which the event / incident which is the subject of the complaint occurred; or
- 12 months from the date on which the event / incident which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant's notice.
Initial action upon receipt of a complaint
- All complaints, whether verbal or in writing must be forwarded immediately to the Sarah Hope (Practice Manager), the Practice Complaints Manager or, if unavailable to Dr Jennie Bailey, the Practice Responsible Person.
- Where the complaint is made verbally, a written record will be made of the complaint.
- A verbal or written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint must be made not later than 3 working days after the day on which the Practice receives the complaint.
- The complainant will be informed of who will look into the complaint and that a written report following the investigation will be provide.
- If access to medical information regarding the complainant is required by an outside organisation, consent will be requested of the complainant.
- If it is considered that the matter can be resolved quickly without further investigation, the Practice will do so, providing the complainant agrees and there is no risk to other service users.
Investigation and response
- Complaints should be resolved within a “relevant period” i.e. 6 months from the day on which the complaint was received.
- However, at any time during the “relevant period”, the Practice Complaints Manager or Responsible Person has the discretion to liaise with the complainant to extend this timeframe to a mutually agreeable date, provided it is still possible to carry out a full and proper investigation of the complaint effectively and fairly.
When an extension to the 6 months timeframe is being considered, it is essential that the Complaints Manager or Responsible Person takes into account that either party may not be able to remember accurately the essential details of the event/ incident and also the feasibility of being able to obtain other essential evidence specific to the time of the event.
- The Practice will investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and as far as reasonably practicable, keep the complainant informed of the progress of the investigation.
- After the investigation is completed, the Practice will send the complainant a written response and keep a copy as a written report which incorporates:
- A summary of each element of the complaint
- A summary of the investigation
- Details of key issues or facts identified by an investigation
- Conclusions of the investigation: was there an error, omission or shortfall by your organisation? Did this disadvantage the complainant, and if so, how?
- What needs to be done to put things right
- An apology, if one is needed
- An explanation of what will happens next (e.g. what will be done, who will do it, and when)
- Information on what the person complaining should do if they are still unhappy and wish to escalate the complaint, including full contact information on the Health Service Ombudsman.
- If the Practice does not send the complainant a response within the 6 month “relevant period”, it will;
- Notify the complainant in writing accordingly and explain the reason why; and.
- Send the complainant in writing a response as soon as reasonably practicable after the 6 month “relevant period”.
- In the event that the complaint has been incorrectly sent to the Practice, the Practice will advise the patient of this fact within 3 working days from its initial receipt and ask them if they want it to be forwarded to the correct organisation. If it is sent on, the Practice will advise the patient of the correct organisation’s full contact and address details.
Handling Unreasonable Complaints
In situations where the person making the complaint can become aggressive or unreasonable, the Practice will instigate the appropriate actions from the list below and will advise the complainant accordingly:
- Ensure contact is being overseen by an appropriate senior member of staff who will act as the single point of contact and make it clear to the complainant that other members of staff will be unable to help them.
- Ask that they make contact in only one way, appropriate to their needs (e.g. in writing).
- Place a time limit on any contact.
- Restrict the number of calls or meetings during a specified period.
- Ensure that a witness will be involved in each contact
- Refuse to register repeated complaints about the same issue.
- Do not respond to correspondence regarding a matter that has already been closed, only acknowledge it.
- Explain that you do not respond to correspondence that is abusive.
- Make contact through a third person such as a specialist advocate.
- Ask the complainant to agree how they will behave when dealing with your service in the future.
- Return any irrelevant documentation and remind them that it will not be returned again.
- When using any of these approaches to manage contact with unreasonable or aggressive people, provide an explanation of what is occurring and why.
- Maintain a detailed record of each contact during the ongoing relationship.
To ensure the Practice monitors, handles and reviews complaints in a logical and timely manner, and to keep an Audit trail of steps taken and decisions reached, the Practice records all complaints received on a dedicated complaints review register
Annual Review of Complaints
In line with National Guidance, the Practice will supply the following information via the Primary Medical Services Web Tool:
- The number of complaints received;
- The number of complaints by service area
- The number of complaints by subject
Reporting a Summary of Complaints to the Care Quality Commission
The Practice will adhere to the Care Quality Commission’s requirement of producing a summary of complaints at a time and in a format set out by the CQC and then send the summary within the timeframe specified.