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Complaints

Complaints Procedure

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 like the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To have your complaint investigated, you need to complain within 12 months of the event happening, or as soon as you first become aware of the issue you want to complain about.

The time limit can be extended in special circumstances.

Interpreting Service

We can arrange for a meeting with the Practice Manager with an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.

How do I raise a concern / informal complaint?

You can speak to any member of staff initially with your complaint. This gives you the opportunity to resolve any concern you may have without it going through a formal process. Most issues can be resolved with the help of a staff member.

How do I raise a formal complaint?

Please complete the form below to give us some more details about the nature of your complaint. If you are able to give your name, names of people involved, and dates and times this will help us to investigate what happened.

Raise a complaint with the Practice

Formal Complaint

What we will do

We will contact you to acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will then investigate what happened and write to you with an explanation of our investigation. We will aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Invite you to discuss the problem with those involved, if you would like this
  • Apologise where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again.

If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB)

South East Complaints Hub
NHS Frimley
Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
Aldershot
Hampshire GU11 1AY

Phone number: 0300 561 0290 Email address: [email protected]

If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.

In General

If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Practice Manager or ask the Receptionist for a copy of our Complaints Procedure. We will endeavour to:

  1. acknowledge any letter or Complaints Form within 3 working days of receiving it.
  2. deal with the matter as promptly as possible – usually within 20 working days – dependent on the nature of the complaint.

Who can complain

  • Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
  • Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
  • Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.

If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.

Appropriate person

In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.

  • For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
  • If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.

If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.

Time limits

A complaint must be made within 12 months, either from the date of the incident or from when the complainant first knew about it.

The regulations state that a responsible body should only consider a complaint after this time limit if:

  • the complainant has good reason for doing so, and
  • it’s still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.

Procedure

We have a two stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly however if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will notify you and then keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one – Early, local resolution

  • We will try to resolve your complaint within five working days if possible.
  • If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to escalate your complaint to Stage Two.

Stage Two – Investigation

  • We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage One.
  • We also escalate some complaints straight to this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and we will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be no more that 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time to respond.

Taking it Further

Complain to the Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Address:

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tower 30
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

Phone: 0345 015 4033

E: email the Ombudsman 

However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.

Other organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services

Confidentiality

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will 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.

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

Statistics and reporting

The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.