(Also see separate Complaints Form available at Reception)
As you are all aware the current COVID-19 poses one of the greatest challenges that society has faced in recent times, and we have all had to make changes to our daily lives to ensure that we work together to protect the most vulnerable members of society. At Westongrove, we have had to make a number of responsive changes following recent developments to ensure the maximum safety of our patients, and to protect our staff as much as possible to ensure that the NHS can keep working in an effective manner and can continue to provide the best level of care possible.
As such, during the current period of emergency measures many routine services will be subject to short notice change and many administrative tasks will be streamlined to ensure that we focus more of our time and resources on the delivery of care to those that need it the most.
As part of this streamlining of administration tasks, the Practice will be changing its complaints procedures, during this challenging period. With immediate effect, we will now be reviewing complaints on a weekly basis, to ensure that any high priority complaints that fall within the following categories can be swiftly discussed and any resulting changes to our Practice can be immediately implemented:
- Immediate risks to patients or staff
- Actual harm to patient or “near miss” incident of high severity.
- Urgent safeguarding concerns
- Criminal actions
Should your complaint not fall into these categories, then it will be dealt with when we have capacity to do so, and unfortunately at this time, the timeframe for this is uncertain. We appreciate your understanding whilst we are dealing with unprecedented demand.
Making a Complaint
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
Within 12 months of the incident or within 12 months of you discovering that you giving as much detail as you can.
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in the PGP leaflet.
We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing this covers all the necessary aspects.
Send your written complaint to:
Poplar Grove Practice
What we do next
We look to settle complaints as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within 10 working days. 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 looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.
When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this.
Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.
The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it.
Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint.
Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter. Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.
We may still need to correspond direct with the patient, or may be able to deal direct with the third party, and this depends on the wording of the authority provided.
If you are Dissatisfied with the Outcome
You have the right to approach the Ombudsman. The contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service
Tel: 0345 0154033
You may also approach PALS for help or advice;
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is based at NHS Buckinghamshire PCT who provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
NHS South central and West CSU
2nd Floor, Albert House
Queen Victoria Road
Tel: 0800 328 5640