Suggestions, Comments and Complaints

Complaints and Comments Policy

Download the complaints form

Introduction

This policy sets out the Practice’s approach to the handling of complaints and is intended as an internal guide. It should be made readily available to all staff and be available at reception for any patient requesting a copy.

From 1st April 2009 a common approach to the handling of complaints was introduced across health and adult social care. This procedure complies with this with The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009, introduced on 1st April 2009 across health and social care.

Confidentiality

All complaints must be treated in the strictest confidence
Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, the Complaints Manager must inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.

The practice must keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records must be kept separate from patients’ medical records.

Policy

  • The Practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staff are aware of and comply with this Procedure.
  • The Practice has nominated the Operations Manager as its Complaints Manager, to be responsible for managing the procedures for handling and considering complaints in accordance with the Policy and Procedure.
  • 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, the Operations 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.
  • In the event that a Practice staff member notices that a patient appears to be distressed / upset on the Practice Premises, they should immediately attempt to identify and resolve the problem personally at that time.
  • In the event of a Practice staff member being advised that a patient wishes to make a complaint, the patient should be passed a copy of the current Practice Complaints and Comments Patient Information Leaflet.
  • The Practice will make patients aware of the complaints policy via the practice web site and practice leaflet

The Practice may receive complaints from:

  • The patient or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice;
  • The representative of a patient or former patient (with his/her consent), who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice;
  • Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a representative who has an interest in his/her welfare
  • 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.

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.

How to make a complaint to the Practice

  • You may make your complaint in writing, or verbally, we recommend that you put the complaint in writing. This will give the Operations Manager the opportunity to understand and investigate the complaint.
  • A complaints form is attached for your convenience.
  • If you would rather make your complaint verbally, you will be offered an appointment with the Operations Manager as soon as possible. At the end of this meeting you may be asked to put the complaint in writing, or to agree and sign a written version of the complaint.
  • Whichever option is chosen, the patient will be assured that their complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days from receipt of the form.
  • If appropriate or at your request, you may be offered a formal Complaint meeting during which the complaint and the Practice’s investigations will be discussed.
  • You will be written to with the outcomes of your complaint. We aim to do this within 10 working days; however, this is not always possible.
  • We aim to learn from patient’s complaints. With this is mind we may use your complaint without mentioning your name for staff training.

Please address your complaint to:

Nika Da Silva, Operations Manager
Nexus Health Group @BLM2
6 Decima Street
London SE1 4QX 

Final Response

This will include:

  • A clear statement of the issues, investigations and the findings, giving clear evidence-based reasons for decisions if appropriate
  • Where errors have occurred, explain these fully and state what will be done to put this right, or prevent repetition
  • A focus on fair and proportionate outcomes for the patient, including any remedial action
  • An apology or explanation as appropriate
  • A statement of the right to escalate the complaint, together with the relevant contact detail, this should read as:
    • If you are unhappy with the way the Practice proceeds with your complaint or you are unhappy with the outcomes you may take your complaint to:
  • Offer to discuss the findings if the complainant wishes.

Who can help in making a complaint?

If you need help in making a complaint you can contact “Healthwatch”

Community Southwark
1 Addington Square
London
SE5 0HF
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0207 3587 005

Email: info@healthwatchsouthwark.co.uk

Web: www.healthwatchsouthwark.co.uk

The Practice recognises that at times a complainant does not feel they can approach the practice directly with their complaint; a complaint can be raised directly with the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman.

Unreasonable Complaints

There are times that a complaint can become unreasonable, this can be

  • Where a complainant becomes aggressive
  • Or despite effective complaint handling, unreasonable in their promotion of the complaint

In this instance the Practice can use some or all of the following formal provisions, if any of these provisions are implemented this 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 will be limited to one method only (e.g. in writing)
  • Place a time limit on each contact
  • The number of contacts in a time period will be restricted
  • A witness will be present for all contacts
  • Repeated complaints about the same issue will be refused
  • Only acknowledge correspondence regarding a closed matter, not respond to it
  • Set behaviour standards
  • Return irrelevant documentation
  • Keep detailed records