We will always do our best to help you and offer you good advice in a timely manner, as well as dealing with your requests as efficiently as we can. We are always delighted to pass on positive feedback and compliments to our staff when they have delivered an excellent service. However, we are aware that we are not always perfect, and sometimes things go wrong.
If something has happened which you are unhappy or concerned about, in the first instance we invite you to discuss the matter with our Practice Manager, Tracy Westhead - either by telephone, or at the surgery - and she will listen to your concerns. It may be possible for her to answer your questions and resolve your query straight away, and she will work to try to put things right and make improvements where possible. However if we are unable to resolve things for you in this way, then we would welcome a complaint so that we can look in to things in more detail for you. Complaints are an opportunity for us to learn how to make our service better, and making a complaint will not adversely affect your current or future treatment.
Our procedures follow the relevant requirements as given in the Local Authority, Social Services and National Health Service Complaint Regulations 2009 and the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (the 2009 and 2014 Regulations). The NHS Choices website explains the NHS complaints process here.
Under the NHS Constitution if you are unhappy with an NHS service and decide to make a complaint, you have the right to have that complaint acknowledged by the organisation receiving the complaint within three working days (this does not include weekends and bank holidays). You also have the right for that complaint to be investigated properly. You may make a complaint verbally (in person or by telephone), or in writing (by e-mail or a letter). To help streamline the process we have a downloadable complaints form which you can complete electronically and send back to us by email (at email@example.com ), or you can print it out, fill it out by hand, and return it to us in person or by posting it to us. You don't have to use this form if you don't want to.
It is important to make your complaint as soon as possible. Usually the NHS only investigates complaints that are either:
These time limits may be set aside if there are good reasons why you could not complain sooner and providing it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and efficiently.
If you are unable to make a complaint yourself, then someone can act on your behalf with your written consent. We can accept complaints from:
Our complaints manager is Ms T Westhead (the practice manager) and the responsible person is Dr M Baxter (senior partner).
If we receive a complaint we will:
If you don't wish to complain directly to the practice, then an alternative option is to address your complaint to NHS England, which commissions us as a GP practice. Please note that you cannot submit the same complaint to both the practice and NHS England to deal with, NHSE will not investigate if you have already sent it to us.
PO Box 16738
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org - Please state: 'For the attention of the complaints team' in the subject line.
By telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays)
They will take a note of your complaint and arrange for it to be passed to a case officer.
Merseyside and Cheshire Healthwatch Advocacy provides free, confidential and independent support for people who want to make a complaint. It can be contacted as follows:
Freephone helpline - 0808 801 0389
Email address - email@example.com
Fax – 0151 298 3275
You can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if the practice or NHS England has not been able to respond satisfactorily. The helpline number for the Ombudsman is 0845 015 4033. There is no charge for the Ombudsman's service. A separate leaflet, which is available on request from the Ombudsman's office, explains what the Ombudsman can investigate, what cannot be investigated and how to put your complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Health Service Ombudsman's contact details are:
The Health Service Ombudsman for England
Tel: 0845 015 4033
Fax: 020 7217 4940
Text telephone: 020 7217 4066