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 wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To pursue a complaint please contact the Tracy White, our Acting Practice Manager and Complaints Lead who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service that you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in the Practice, please let us know. We operate a Practice Complaints Procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our system meets national criteria.
How to Complain
We hope that 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 - because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
You should normally make a complaint within twelve months of the event, or within twelve months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. However, these time limits may be waived if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and if we are still able to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively in spite of the delay.
Complaints can be made either orally or in writing to the Practice Manager, or to any of the doctors.
What We Will Do
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days either orally or in writing and will offer to discuss the matter with you.
We will offer you a meeting with the Practice Manager, to agree a timeframe for resolution and to reach an agreement with you on how you wish the complaint to be handled and the likely period for completion of the investigation and response to you. If you would prefer not to accept the offer of a discussion we will determine a specified response period and notify you in writing of that period.
We will aim to investigate and deal with all complaints efficiently and speedily. We will send you a written response with a report on the investigation as soon as reasonably practicable. If we are not able to meet the response deadline we have agreed with you, we will contact you to advise why and negotiate another timescale.
All oral complaints will be recorded in writing by the Practice and you will be provided with a copy of the written record.
When we look into your complaints, we will aim to:
· find out what happened and what went wrong
· advise you what we will do to put the matter right
· make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate.
· identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
We hope that if you have a problem, you will use our Practice Complaints Procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve the services provided by our Practice.
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint at local level you can ask the Ombudsman to independently review your case by writing to:
The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
Or phone: 0345 015 4033
If You Need Help
If you need assistance in making a complaint you can contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service at:
Upper Ground Floor
Tel: 0330 440 9000
Fax: 01424 204687
Their website details are: http://www.seap.org.uk/local-authority/east-sussex.html
Although the Practice would welcome the opportunity to investigate your complaint, you may prefer to choose to make your complaint to the NHS Commissioning Board, details as follows:
Contact Number: 0300 311 2233
Post Address: NHS Commissioning Board
PO Box 16738
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 letter signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this
Further information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception or you can print the following form and return it to the surgery.
Alternatively, you can email your completed leaflet to; firstname.lastname@example.org
Confidentiality & Medical Records
The practice complies with data protection and access to medical records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
- To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
- To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
- When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.
Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.
Freedom of Information
Information about the General Practioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager.
Access to Records
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Access to Health Records Act, patients may request to see their medical records. Such requests should be made through the practice manager and will be subject to an administration charge. No information will be released without the patient consent unless we are legally obliged to do so.
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.