Complaints Policy

Policy written June 2018

Reviewed December 2020, February 2022

COMPLAINTS POLICY

Jill Peters will be responsible for handling all complaints.

Everyone has the right to expect a positive experience and a good treatment outcome. In the event of concern or complains, patients have the right to be listened to and to be treated with respect. Service providers should manage complaints properly, so customers concerns are dealt with appropriately. Good complaint handling methods ensure the patient receives the service they are entitled to expect. Complaints are a valuable source of feedback and can help clinicians swell. When handled well, complaints can provide an opportunity to improve services and reputation.

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

I aim to provide a service that meets the needs of any patients

I strive for a high standard of care

I welcome suggestions from patients and fellow clinicians about safety and quality of service, treatment, and the care I provide

I am committed to and effective and fair complaints system

I support a culture of openness and willingness to learn from incidents, including complaints

COMPLAINTS POLICY

Patients are encouraged to provide suggestions, compliments, concerns and complaints and will be offered a range of ways to do this.

Patients are encouraged to discuss any concerns about treatment with their clinician or they can complete a customer feedback form. 

All complaints are treated with respect, sensitivity and confidentiality.

All complaints are handled without prejudice or assumptions about how minor or serious they are. The emphasis is on removing the problem.

Patients can make complaints on a confidential basis if they wish. 

Patients will not be discriminated against or suffer any unjust adverse consequences as a result of making a complaint about standards

of care or service.

MANAGING COMPLAINTS

I will actively encourage patients to provide feedback about the service, including complaints, concerns, suggestions and compliments.

I will attempt resolution of complaints and concerns at the point of service, wherever possible and within the scope of my role and responsibility.

RESOLUTION

The process of resolving the problem will include:

An expression of regret to the consumer for any known harm or distress suffered.

An explanation or information about what is known, without speculating or blaming others; considering the problem and the outcome the consumer is seeking and proposing a solution; and confirming that the patient is satisfied with the proposed solution.

If the problem is resolved, I will complete a ‘suggestion for improvement’ form to record feedback from patients.

IF THE COMPLAINT IS NOT RESOLVED

Complaints that are not resolved at the point of service, or that are received in writing and require follow up, are regarded as formal complaints.

The patient will be be provided with the formal complaints policy.

RESPOSIBILITIES

JILL PETERS is responsible for coordinating investigation and resolution of formal complaints, conduction risk assessments, leasing with complainants, maintaining a register of complaints and other feedback, providing regular reports on informal and formal complaints, and monitoring the complaints and policy and procedure.

JILL PETERS is responsible for a proactive approach to receiving feedback from patients.

Investigation and review of complaints and follow ups action for serious complaints, or where complaints result in recommendations for change in policy of procedures.

JILL PETERS is responsible for:

Ensuring appropriate action is taken to resolve complaints.

Acting on recommendations for improvement arising from complaints

Ensuring there is meaningful reporting on trends in complaints

Ensuring compliance and review of the complaints management policy

Notifications to insurers

Consultation with professional registration boards, and other where necessary 

PROMOTING FEEDBACK

Information is provided about the complaints policy and external complaints bodies that patients can go to with a complaint. i.e;

On my website 

Emailing me 

Phoning me

RISK ASSESSMENT

After receiving a formal complaint JILL PETERS reviews the issues to decide what action should be taken, consistent with the risk management procedure.

Assessing Resolution Options

Formal complaints are normally resolved by direct negotiation with the complainant, but some complaints are better resolved with and alternative disputes resolution provider.

JILL PETERS (THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER) will refer the complainant to an appropriate external body if

there is serious question about the adequacy and safety of the healthcare provider. The complaint is about myself

The complainant raises a complex issue that requires external expertise

The complaint cannot be resolved internally to the patient’s satisfaction 

JILL PETERS will direct patients to Health Improvement Scotland when required –

 hcis.complaints@nhs.net

Health Improvement Scotland

Gyle Square

1 South Gyle Crescent

Edinburgh, EH12 9EB

0131 623 4326

TIMEFRAMES

Formal complaints are acknowledged in writing or in person within 48 hours.

The acknowledgement provides contact details for the person who is handling the complaint, how the complaint will be dealt with and how long it is expected to take.

If a complaint raises issues that require notifications or consolation with an external body, the notification or consultation will occur within three days of those being identified.

Formal complaints are investigated and resolved within 15-40 days.

If the complaint is not resolved within 20 days, the complainant and clinician who are directly involved will be provided with an update.

RECORDS AND PRIVACY

All complaints will be stored in a patient feedback portfolio, with records of informal feedback and formal complaints.

Personal informations on individual complaints is kept confidential and is only made available to those who need it to deal with complaint.

Complainants are given information on how their personal information is likely to be used during the investigation of a complaint.

Patients are provided access to their medical records( in accordance with the confidentiality policy). Other requesting to see the patient’s medical records as part of resolving a complaint are provided with access only if the patient has provided authorisation (in accordance with the confidentiality policy).

OPEN DISCLOSURE AND FAIRNESS

Complaints are initially provided with an explanation of what happened, based on the known facts.

At the conclusion of an enquiry or investigation, the complainant and clinician are provided with all the established facts, the casual factors contributing to the incident and any recommendations to improve the service, and the reasons for these decisions.

JILL PETERS carries out the investigations of complaints to identify what happened, the underlying causes of the complaint and preventative strategies.

Information is gathered from:

Talking to clinician involved

Listening to complainant’s view

Reviewing medical records and their records

Reviewing relevant policies, standards and guidelines 

REPORTING AND RECORDING COMPLAINTS

JILL PETERS will keep reports on the number and types of complaints, the outcomes of complaints, recommendations for change an any subsequent action that is taken.

Information about trends in complaints and how they are resolved is routinely reviewed as part of reflecting on performance of the service and opportunities for improvement.

JILL PETERS will monitor the amount of time taken to resolve complaints, whether recommended changes have been acted on and whether satisfactory outcomes have been achieved.

This policy will be review annually.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

Good Medical Practice (GMC, 2013)

The Code; Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (NMC 2012)

Standards for Dental Practitioners (2013)

Chartered Institute of Trading Standards

If you wish to complain more formally, to the regulatory body, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, you can so in following ways:

 hcis.complaints@nhs.net

Health Improvement Scotland

Gyle Square

1 South Gyle Crescent

Edinburgh, EH12 9EB

0131 623 4326

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