Complaints Procedure

We want our service to meet your expectations. If you have a concern or complaint about any aspect of our service, we want to know what mistakes we made and identify how we can improve to ensure that we meet your expectations in future. Our aim is to learn from any feedback we receive and improve the service we provide to our patients.

We will deal with complaints courteously and promptly and aim to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

A. Confidentiality Notice

This document and the information contained therein is the property of OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE.

This document contains information that is privileged, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure. It must not be used by, or its contents reproduced or otherwise copied or disclosed
without the prior consent in writing from OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE.

B. Document Details

Classification: PUBLIC
Author and Role: Domingos Santos
Current Version Number: 3
Current Document Approved By: J Dhariwal
Date Approved: 05/12/2019

C. Document Revision and Approval History


The protocol sets out the approach of OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE to the handling of complaints. This protocol is relevant to all employers and anyone who works at OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE, including non-clinical staff and visitors/observers on the premises must also adhere to this.

This protocol will be reviewed annually to ensure that it remains effective and relevant.

Importance of having a complaints procedure

In spite of the efforts of all staff it is likely that a complaint will be made by a patient at some point.

To reduce the anxiety and apprehension for both patients and staff it is crucial to have a procedure for handling complaints.

How complaints can be made

Complaints may be received in writing or orally. Where a patient is unable to communicate a complaint by either means on their own then arrangements will be made to facilitate the giving of the complaint.

Persons who can complain

Complaints can be made by patients, former patients, someone who is affected, or likely to be affected, by the action, omission or decision of individuals working at the practice, or by a representative of a patient who is incapable of making the complaint themselves.

When a complaint is made on behalf of a child, there must be reasonable grounds for the complaint being made by the representative rather than the child and the complaint must be being made in the best interests of the child. If this is not the case, then written notification of the decision not to investigate the complaint must be sent to the representative.

Time limit for making a complaint

Complaints can be made up to 6 months after the incident that gave rise to the complaint, or from when the complainant was made aware of it. Beyond this timescale it is at the discretion of the practice as to whether to investigate the matter.

Persons responsible for handling complaints

Complaints Manager [DOMINGOS SANTOS]: The Complaints Manager is responsible for the handling and investigation of complaints.

Initial handling of complaints

1) When a patient wishes to make an oral complaint then the Complaints Manager is to arrange to meet the complainant in private to make an assessment of the complaint. The complainant is to be asked whether they would like to be accompanied at this meeting.

2) The complaint should be resolved at this meeting if possible. If the complaint is resolved then it should be recorded in the complaints register and the implicated staff member is to be told about the details of the complaint.

3) When the complaint cannot be resolved the patient is to be asked to make a written complaint.

If necessary the Complaints Manager is to write down the complaint on their behalf verbatim. The written complaint is to be recorded in the complaints register.

4) The Complaints Manager is to acknowledge a written complaint in writing within 3 working days, stating the anticipated date by which the complainant can expect a full response.

Investigation of complaint

1) The Complaints Manager is to discuss the complaint with the implicated member of staff to establish their recollection of events.

2) If the complaint is against the Complaints Manager, then the complaint is to be referred to the CEO [JASWINDER DHARIWAL] for investigation.

3) The complainant is to be invited to a meeting to discuss the complaint with the Complaints Manager and asked if they would like to be accompanied at this meeting. If appropriate and with prior consent from the complainant the staff member complained about can be present at that meeting. Minutes should be taken.

4) The timescale to respond is to be agreed with the complainant at that meeting and documented in the complaints register.

5) The full response must include: an explanation of how the complaint was considered; the conclusions reached in relation to the complaint and any remedial action that will be needed; confirmation as to whether the practice is satisfied that any action has been taken or will be taken.

6) If it is not possible to send the complainant a response in the agreed period it is necessary to write to the complainant explaining why. Then a response is to be sent to the complainant as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Recording complaints and investigations

A record must be kept of:

  • each complaint received;
  • the subject matter of the complaint;
  • the steps and decisions taken during an investigation;
  • the outcome of each investigation;
  • when the practice informed the complainant of the response period and any amendment to that period;
  • Whether a report of the outcome of the investigation was sent to the complainant withinthe response period or any amended period.

Review of complaints

Complaints received by the practice are to be reviewed at staff meetings to ensure that learning points are shared.

A review of all complaints will be conducted annually by the Complaints Manager to identify any patterns.

Making a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint or simply let us know how we could have done better, please contact Domingos Santos our Complaints’ Manager:


Complaints of a minor nature should be raised immediately with either the doctor or the Practice Manager with the aim of resolving the problem directly. It is anticipated that the vast majority of complaints will be resolved in this way.

Nonetheless, complaints must be documented.

If you are still not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you should use stage 2 of the procedure outlined below.


The Clinic appreciates that there may be occasions where the above process is inappropriate and that a more formal approach is necessary.

Where it has not been possible to resolve matters to your satisfaction under Stage 1, you should write to the Complaints’ Manager. Your complaint must be specific and comprehensively documented. You should present full details, including your name and address, any relevant documentation, and dates, locations and witnesses as appropriate. You should also detail any previous unsuccessful attempts at resolution. Finally, you should state what reasonable steps you believe should be taken to resolve the complaint.

You should expect to receive an acknowledgement from the Complaints’ Manager of your written complaint within 3 working days, together with a copy of this procedure. It is our aim that most complaints under Stage 2 should be resolved within 20 days. You will be informed if there is likely to be any delay in the process.

As part of the process of attempting to establish the facts of the complaint the Complaints’ Manager may hold separate meetings with any persons who were involved with the circumstances giving rise to your complaint, and may also wish to meet with you and any material witnesses. A written record of meetings will be made by the Complaints’ Manager.

The Complaints’ Manager will notify you in writing of the result of your complaint and the reasons for the decision.

OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE Complaints Procedure

Should your complaint relate to the Complaints’ Manager to whom it would normally be referred
under stage 2, it should instead be submitted to OVAL MEDICAL CENTRE CEO [JASWINDER
DHARIWAL] who will arrange for it to be heard by an alternative not previously involved in the case.


If your complaint was about your treatment and you are not satisfied with the result of our
investigation, you can take up the matter with a relevant external organisation.

  • Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) – Patient Complaints

Adjudication Service for Independent Healthcare
020 7536 6091


Do remember that complaints will not always produce the outcome preferred by a complainant.

For instance, policy decisions or resourcing beyond the Clinics’ control may affect the level of
service provided. However, whatever the decision, we undertake to inform you of the result of a
complaint and the reasons for it.


In general, those about whom complaints are made have a right to know what is being claimed and
who is making a complaint.

Where a complaint is made in writing, a copy will normally be supplied to the people who are the
subject of the grievance.

You will not be discriminated against or suffer recrimination as a result of making a complaint.


It is the Clinics’ expectation that the confidentiality of the documentation generated by a complaint
will be respected by all parties.