Although we continually strive to offer good service and care to our patients, sometimes we might get it wrong.
We need to know if this happens so that we can respond to your concern or complaint and make sure the problem does not happen again.
Below we explain our complaints process. This is intended to
- guide you through the process of making a complaint
- inform you what you need to do and what information we will need
- explain what we will do to resolve the problem
- explain how we will keep you informed of our progress
- give advice on what to do next if we cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction
- point you to places where you can get help submitting a complaint, or more information about the NHS approach to complaints
You can also submit a concern or complaint on behalf of someone else, and we explain how to do this (see step 7).
Steps in the process
1/ We will always try to resolve your concerns informally in the first instance
speak to a receptionist about the problem; often they can provide an immediate answer
2/ Should you wish to take it to the next stage then please ask a receptionist for a complaint form or complete one on-line here.
3/ Complete the form giving as much detail as possible
use extra sheets of paper if you require more space
4/ Make sure you sign and date the form
If you submit extra sheets make sure your name and the date are on every additional sheet.
5/ Seal the form, and any extra sheets, in the envelope provided and hand to a receptionist.
6/ We will acknowledge your complaint in writing within 3 working days
7/ If you have said that you are acting for a third party you will need to submit an Authority form which the third party has completed and signed.
We will not be able to continue our investigation until we receive the signed Authority form. If this is the case we will send you an Authority form by post
8/ We may get in touch with you to ask for more information or clarification
9/ We may ask you to meet with us in order to discuss the problem more fully
10/ we will provide you with an anticipated timescale for completion of our investigation
11/ If the timescale changes we will inform you of the revised timings
12/ When our investigation is complete we will inform you in writing setting out our findings and any further actions that might be necessary on our or your part
13/ We will inform you how to escalate the complaint if you do not feel that we have resolved the problem to your satisfaction
Timing of complaints
A complaint may be submitted up to 12 months following the date of the problem.
In some circumstance, the timescale can be extended if the problem does not come to light until some considerable time after the event.
If you need information which is included in your Patient Record you are entitled to a copy of the data.
You should write to the Practice Manager. There may be a charge for providing this service so ask at one of our Receptions what this will be. In some circumstances the Practice may refuse to supply some or all of the data but a full explanation will be given should this be the case.
Assistance in making a complaint
If you would like assistance submitting a complaint there is an independent charity which covers Hertfordshire called POhWER
POhWER provide a free Advocacy service to people who have difficulty in documenting and submitting a complaint. This means that they will work with you to draw up a complaint and support you throughout the process.
Citizens Advice Bureau: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/resources-and-tools/search-navigation-tools/Search/?q=NHS+complaints
If all else fails
You can escalate your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who can be contacted on 0345 015 4033 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their web-site www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint