1. How to Complain
1.1 This procedure outlines a number of simple routes to be used by any employee or patient depending on the seriousness of the complaint.
1.2 The following list indicates examples of the type of complaint covered by this procedure:
» The quality of the treatment and care
» Insufficient facilities
» The behaviour of a member of staff
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 and informally. It is anticipated that the vast majority of complaints will be resolved in this way.
Stage 1 will generally be an oral process and a written record will not be made.
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 Practice 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 Practice Manager of your written complaint within two 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 Practice 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 Practice Manager.
The Practice Manager will notify you in writing of the result of your complaint and the reasons for the decision. Where the result of the complaint includes consequent action or recommendations, the Manager responsible for the section concerned shall notify the appropriate person(s) or committee, internal or external to the Clinic, without undue delay.
Should your complaint relate to the Practice Manager/Manager to whom it would normally be referred under stage 2, it should instead be submitted to The Director, 2 Clapham Road, Oval, London SW9 0JG who will arrange for it to be heard by an alternative, senior member of the Clinic, not previously involved in the case.
If the complaint remains unresolved under Stage 2 to your satisfaction, you may in turn write to the Director, explaining why this is so and seeking review and further enquiry.
The Clinic will be asked to submit to the Director your original complaint, the supporting evidence considered under stage 2 and the Clinic’s report on the outcome at that stage and the reasons for it.
The Clinic will submit all the papers to the Director, who has not been previously involved in the case, and he or she will review the way your complaint has been dealt with. He or she may seek further written information from you to clarify matters concerning the complaint. He or she may also decide, if in their opinion the evidence justifies it, to uphold (or not to do so) a complaint without proceeding further with the complaint process.
The Director may wish to meet, separately with you and the people who were involved in the circumstances giving rise to your complaint, the Nurse Manager, Practice Manager and doctor, and any appropriate witnesses. You may be accompanied at your meeting by a relative or friend.
The Director will arrange for a written record to be made of each interview.
The Director will notify you in writing of the decision reached concerning this stage of your complaint and the reasons for it, together with any recommended consequent action.
If the complaint remains unresolved to your satisfaction after following Stages 1-3 above you can complain to the Care Quality Commission on 03000 616161 (www.cqc.org.uk).
2.1 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.
3.1 In general, those about whom complaints are made have a right to know what is being claimed and who is making a complaint.
3.2 Where a complaint is made in writing, a copy will normally be supplied to the people who are the subject of the grievance.
3.3 You will not be discriminated against or suffer recrimination as a result of making a complaint.
4.1 It is the clinics’ expectation that the confidentiality of the documentation generated by a complaint will be respected by all parties.