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Complaints

The practice follows the NHS procedure for complaints. Please address any to the Practice Manager. An initial response will be given within two days and a full explanation in ten working days. Under Primary Care Trust guidelines from 1 April 1996, practices are required to operate a Local Resolution procedure and investigate all complaints.

A complainant is defined as an existing or former patient of a practitioner who has arrangements with a Primary Care Trust to provide family health services, or a person who has received family health services, or any person who is accepted as suitable to act on behalf of such a person.

Complaints must be related to services provided by the individual practitioner or the family health services practitioner concerned, or any person providing such services on his/her behalf.

The procedure’s key objectives are to:

  • Ease access for patient and complainants
  • Ensure a simple, more rapid and more open procedure Improve the quality of service by acting on lessons learned
  • Ensure fairness for staff and patients alike Effect an approach that is open and thorough, with the prime aim of satisfying the concerns of the complainant.


HOW TO LODGE A COMPLAINT
To lodge a complaint about the services provided by the practice or about the hospital or other health services, please contact the Practice Manager, Jacqueline Porter, in person or write to or telephone her on ( 01923) 776295.

INVESTIGATION
The Practice Manager or another senior member of staff will make all necessary inquiries such as interviews, if appropriate, with complainants, GPs and practice staff.

When a complainant does not wish the complaint to be dealt with by the practice, the Primary Care Trust (PCT) will have lay conciliators available as a service to complainants and practitioners. In suitable cases PCT staff will act as intermediaries in order to secure an investigation by, and explanation from the practice, rather than provide a conciliation service. All complaints lodged with the practice will be dealt with in accordance with Primary Care Trust procedures.

RESPONSE
An initial response will normally be made in two (2) working days. An explanation will normally be provided within two (2) weeks (ten (10) working days).

RESPONSE TO A COMPLAINT
The response to a complaint at the end of Local Resolution will aim to include: An explanation, together with An apology where appropriate Details of any changes in procedure

INDEPENDENT REVIEW
An Independent Review by a Review Panel can be requested by a complainant who remains dissatisfied with Local Resolution. Details may be obtained from the Primary Care Trust (PCT) at Royalty House, 10 King Street, Watford WD18 0BW, telephone (01923)281600.

OMBUDSMAN
If a patient’s complaint is not resolved to the patient’s satisfaction by Local Resolution and the patient subsequently requests an Independent Review from the Primary Care Trust’s convener, which after consideration is declined, they will have the right to appeal to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman may choose to:

  • Decide that he is satisfied that all attempts have been made to resolve the matter and decline the appeal
  • Overrule the Primary Care Trust’s decision and instruct them to set up an Independent Review Panel
  • Investigate the whole matter himself


 
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