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OnCall Doctors Complaints Policy

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction about any matter reasonably connected with the services provided by our clinic.

A complaint which is made orally and is resolved within 24hours will be recorded as locally resolved in the Complaints Register.

Where the complaint relates to a breach of statutory regulations, patients can contact the CQC on:

03000 616161 or via https://www.cqc.org.uk/

Information and guidance are available on how to complain and is accessible to everyone who uses our clinic.

Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we settle any complaints as quickly as possible.

This policy is in compliance with: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/regulations-enforcement/regulation-16-receiving-acting-complaints

Aims of The Policy

The aims of this policy and procedure are that complaints made by our patients, or their representatives are listened to and acted upon effectively by:

  • having systems in place to deal with comments and complaints, including providing patients who use services with information about that system.
  • supporting patients who use the services and their nominated representatives to make comments or complaints.
  • considering fully, responding appropriately and resolving, where possible, any comments or complaints.

Our aim is to give our patients the highest possible standard of service and we try to deal with all the complaints as quickly as possible

A complaints notice is available for all our patients.

If required, we will ensure it is also available in appropriate languages and formats to meet the needs of the patients using the service. We will also use services of qualified translators if required.

Patients are asked that in the event of any complaint, to speak or write to Karen Plant (administrator) or the medical director Dr A I Sange.

Patients who require further advice regarding the complaints process will be supported by us.

A copy of the complaints process is held in the clinic/ reception (part of reception training).

Timescales for Handling and Investigating Complaints

We shall acknowledge complaints within 2 working days and aim to have considered the complaint closed within 20 days of the date when it was raised, subject to no barriers in completing the investigations.

A full response will be made within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint (if this is not possible a letter, explaining the reason for the delay will be sent to the complainant and a full response will be made within 5 working days of the conclusion of the process).

We shall offer an explanation, or a meeting as appropriate.  If there are any delays in the process, we will keep the complainant informed.

Our Investigation Processes

Any complaint received will be investigated and necessary and proportionate action be taken in response to any failure identified by the complaint or investigation.

We operate an effective and accessible system for identifying, receiving, recording, handling, and responding to complaints by our patients and other persons in relation to the carrying out of the regulated activity.

We ensure our patients can make a complaint to any member of staff, either verbally or in writing

All staff are trained on how to respond when they receive a complaint.

Unless they are anonymous, all complaints should be acknowledged whether they are written or verbal.

Complainants will not be discriminated against or victimised. People’s care and treatment will not be affected if they make a complaint, or if somebody complains on their behalf.

When we consider a complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make it possible for the complainant to discuss the problem with those concerned
  • Make sure the complainant receives an apology where appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again

At the end of the investigation, the complaint will be discussed with the complainant in detail, either in person or in writing.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

If the complaint is received on behalf of someone else, the rules of patient confidentiality will be kept.

A note signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this to allow the complaint to be investigated.

All complaints whether written or verbal will be documented.

We will try to retain all complaints at a local level and escalate if necessary (to higher bodies).

Payments and refunds

In some cases, it may be appropriate to waive fees or offer a refund.

Accessibility of Comments and Complaints Policy

We will make the Complaints Policy accessible to patients and relatives:

(a)        A copy of the Procedure for Handling and Investigating Complaints will be displayed in the reception area and on our website.

(b)       Staff will provide help to any patient or relative of any patient who wishes to make a complaint.

Notification of Outcome of Complaint

Complainants will be notified of the outcome of their complaint and any actions taken as a result of the complaint immediately upon conclusion of the process.

Depending on the type of complaint received and if escalated to CQC, we will provide when requested to do so and by no later than 28 days:

  • A summary of complaints made under such complaints system,
  • responses made to such complaints and any further correspondence with the complainants

Complaints Register

A register will be kept of complaints containing the following information:

(a) Date of complaint

(b) Name of complainant

(c) Nature of complaint and details of staff involved

(d) Action taken to investigate the complaint

(e) Outcome and action taken as a result of the complaint

(f) Date of full response to complainant

Records of Complaints

All correspondence relating to a complaint will be kept for 5 years.

A register will be kept of all complaints including appropriate details, including outcome.

A quarterly audit of complaints will be produced detailing the nature and outcomes of complaints and a quarterly summary of complaints will be discussed at staff meetings/training days and shall include:

(a) Number of complaints received

(b) Nature of complaints and details of staff involved

(c) Resolutions of complaints

(d) Actions taken in response to complaints

Lessons Learnt

We will monitor all complaints over time, looking for trends and areas of risk that may be addressed and share lessons learnt with all staff.  We will also encourage staff to conduct self-reflective significant event analyses and to use these in staff training and learning sessions.

Additional Support

If the complaint is regarding the Medical Director of the clinic, then this will be referred to the external adviser, Dr Alex Zarneh alex@chelbournelpa.com who will decide on how to progress the complaint to as satisfactory resolution.

Version: AS/1.1

Dated: March 2022

Review Date: reviewed March 2024