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SUGGESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS

Your complaint or concern

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors, or any of the staff working in the health centre, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system that meets national criteria for dealing with complaints.

How to complain

We hope most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or, at most, a few weeks – this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:

Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; Or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.

Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager to discuss your concerns. The Practice Manager will explain the complaints procedure to you and make sure your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.

What we shall do

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to investigate it within ten working days from the date you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint we shall aim to:

• Find out what happened and why

• Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like to do this

• Make sure you receive a full explanation and apology if appropriate

• Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again if appropriate

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A written note signed by the person concerned will be needed (unless they are incapable because of illness of providing this).

Complaints Protocol

Complaints will, in the first instance, be dealt with by the Practice Manager.

If the complaint is made verbally, the complainant will be asked to put the complaint in writing to ensure that an accurate version of events is presented to the GP or member of the staff involved.

Once the initial contact has been made, whether verbally or in writing, the nature of the complaint will be recorded in the complaints log.

The complaint will be acknowledged in writing immediately and it will be explained to the complainant that they can expect a respond within 14 days. A copy of the practice complaints procedure will be sent to the complainant.

The matter will be discussed with the senior partner (or deputy) and a full internal investigation will take place with the GP or member of staff involved.

The results of the investigation will be put in writing and sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the internal investigation they will be invited to attend the surgery, with a friend if he/she wants, to discuss the complaint and the findings of the internal investigation.

Written confirmation of the outcome of the meeting will be sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.

If the complaint remains unresolved the complainant will be informed of his/her right to pursue the complaint with The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Where necessary the practice will consider any internal action required to ensure a similar incident does not occur in the future

We hope that, if you have a problem you will use the practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give both parties the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve practice procedures.

This does not affect your right to approach the National Commissioning Board, in the first instance, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us directly.  The National Commissioning Board will also be able to provide you with advice on how to take your complaint forward.

Getting help and advice

The following may also be able to help you:

SEAP, P O Box 375, Hastings, TN34 9HU

Tel: 0330 440 9002

Website: www.seap.org.uk

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