Suggestions, Comments and Complaints

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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 Practice Manager (you can use the attached form). He/she 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 strictly 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 below.

What we will do

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have fully investigated within 10 working days of the date it was received. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.

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.

If you need further help in making your complaint, you may like to contact the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA), who have satellite offices across the Eastern Region. They can be contacted initially by telephone, on: 0330 440 9000 and emailed at info@theadvocacypeople.org.uk.

Alternatively, for help in making a complaint, you can contact POhWer NHS Complaints Advocacy service, who will assist you. They can be contacted via:

POhWER

Local Office:

The Disability Resource Centre
Poynters House
Poynters Road
Dunstable
LU5 4TP

Telephone: 0300 456 2370
Email: pohwer@pohwer.net

If you are unhappy about something relating to your GP, dentist, optician, pharmacist, health visitor, community nurse or a screening service, and are not comfortable speaking with the practice directly, you may wish to contact NHS England (NHSE) at:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch
B97 9PT

Email: England.contactus@nhs.net marked ‘for the attention of the complaints manager’.
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm excluding bank Holidays).

Should you remain dissatisfied with the response from NHSE, you still have the right to escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman (see also above). Please note, however, that there is no right of escalation to the NHSE where a patient is dissatisfied with the practice’s response to a complaint; all escalations are to the Ombudsman only. **You may contact the Ombudsman via:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Telephone: 0345 015 4033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk