Your input to the running of the Westgate Practice is invaluable and your comments, good or bad, are therefore most welcome. We use this Practice Complaints Procedure to deal with your concerns and complaints about the service we provide. We also have a mechanism to deal with compliments, suggestions or minor concerns. Our aim is to give you the highest possible standard of service and we try to deal swiftly with any problems that may occur.
How to make a complaint
If you are concerned about any aspect of our services, be it in relation to a doctor, nurse or other member of our team, please let us know.
We view this as a way for us to monitor and improve the quality of service that this practice provides. We operate the practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints and our system meets all national criteria.
Talk to a member of our team who will try to sort out your concern on the spot.
If you do not feel able to do this you can complain in writing, in person or by telephone. Please contact us as soon as possible as this will enable us to investigate what happened more fully. If you have any specific information such as dates, times and names this also helps in our investigation.
Who to complain to
Complaints should be directed to either Miss Jennifer Habart or Mrs Karina Wilkins, our Patient Liaison Officers, or to any of the partners of the Practice. Jennifer or Karina will be happy to make an appointment to speak with you to discuss your concerns.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please be aware that we cannot breach the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we shall require their consent to inform you of the outcome of our investigations.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days either by telephone or in writing. We shall make every attempt to investigate and respond to that complaint within 10 working days. However, if the issues are complex or staff members are on leave this may take a little longer. We may write or offer you a meeting with the people involved.
The purpose of the NHS Complaints procedure is to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Provide an apology where this is appropriate
- Identify ways in which similar problems can be prevented
If you feel that we have not responded to your concerns fully please do not hesitate to come back to us to discuss these further.
However, if you feel this is not possible, please contact the NHS Advocacy Service which is provided for this area by Staffordshire Healthwatch: Telephone 0800 161 5600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also make complaints via the NHS England Customer Contact Centre, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT. Phone 0300 311 22 33 or email email@example.com
What we shall not do
At no point will the fact that you have made a complaint be recorded in your medical record. All issues you raise will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your current or future care.
Advice and Support For You
If you would like to speak to someone for advice or help with making a complaint or if you find it difficult to make a complaint yourself
If you would like help making your complaint (including help with writing your letter), you can contact the Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service, provided by Staffordshire Healthwatch : 0800 0518371 or contact them via their website: http://healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk
Compliments and Suggestions
It is always appreciated when compliments are received and, as with complaints, we use this as a way of learning for the future. When we receive a compliment we share this with the team and encourage individuals to work to the high standards that your compliment has acknowledged. Please forward any compliments for the attention of our Patient Liaison Officer or one of the partners.
Equally your suggestions can help us change our processes and we often make minor changes to our administration systems following patient input. Please forward any suggestions to our Patient Liaison Officer or Office Manager.
The Health Service Ombudsman
The Health Service Ombudsman has published a booklet that describes the ‘six principles for remedy’ in relation to complaints handling and involves:
- Getting it right
- Being customer focused
- Being open and accountable
- Acting fairly and proportionately
- Putting things right
- Seeking continuous improvements
If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman.
Tel: 0345 015 4033
Write: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.