Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints system in line with the new NHS and Social Care Complaints Procedure that was introduced in England on 1st April 2009.

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 because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, you need to let us have details of your complaint within 12 months from the date the matter occurred or from when it came to your attention.

Complaints should be addressed to the practice manager, or any of the doctors. They can be made orally or in writing. You may prefer to ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager in order to discuss your concerns. He will explain the complaints procedure to you and ensure that your concerns are dealt with appropriately. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint. Alternatively, you can choose to address your complaint to the NHS Commissioning Board (see Useful Numbers & Websites). However, who may pass the complaint on to the surgery for a response if they feel this is appropriate and they have your consent to do so.

What we shall do

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and commence a thorough investigation into what happened. We aim to offer you a response as soon as is reasonably possible, although complex issues, especially when there are several people involved, may take longer. We will keep you informed if there are delays. The timescale to respond is to be agreed with you and to be a maximum of 6 months. If your complaint involves more than one NHS organisation, you are entitled to receive a single response, agreed by each body involved, who will cooperate with each other to investigate the problem. You will appreciate that this may take some considerable time, but one of the organisations involved will undertake to take the lead in liaising with you and provide the final response.

Once we have looked into your complaint we shall:

• Provide a full written response including an honest explanation of what happened and why
• Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
• Make sure you receive an apology, wherever it is appropriate
• Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again

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 the authority to do so. Patients over 16 years of age with normal mental capacity should normally make the complaint themselves. Those who cannot make decisions for themselves may be represented by a partner, relative, or someone appointed with lasting power of attorney.

What to do if you are dissatisfied with our response to your complaint

We will do all we can to ensure that your complaint is dealt with to your satisfaction at the practice. Should you remain dissatisfied with our response to your complaint you can contact the following organisations

Patients Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) & NHS Somerset Complaints Team
may be able to help you to resolve the matter promptly or point you in the right direction.
NHS Somerset,
Yeovil, BA22 8HR

Tel 0800 085 1067

The Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service in Somerset is called SEAP – Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote Service and is available to support you and represent your views when making a complaint- they can accompany you to meetings to discuss your complaint and provide support or an interpreter.

SEAP Trowbridge
Unit 3 Premier House,
Willowside Park,
Canal Rd,
Wiltshire BA14 8RH

Tel 0300 440 9002

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

You can also take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
Millbank Tower,
London SW1P 4QP,

Helpline: 0345 015 4033 (Monday-Friday, 8.30 am – 5.30 pm).
Fax: 0300 061 4000