Comments & Complaints
We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.
However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a secure box is located in the outer hallway.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff in the practice, please let us know. We operate an in-house complaints procedure as part the NHS complaints system. Our complaints system meets with national criteria.
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 to enable us to establish what happened more easily.
Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager Mr Michael Search. Alternatively, you may ask to see Mr Search in order to discuss your problems. In his absence the Assistant Practice Manager, Mrs Jackie Hughes will take responsibility of this. She will explain the complaint procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
If your complaint concerns clinical decisions taken by a doctor, it will be referred to the doctor concerned in the first instance giving that doctor the opportunity to explain & give reasons for the course of action taken in your care and treatment. If you continue to be unhappy with the explanation given you should inform the Practice manager.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days and offer to discuss the matter. We will include in the discussion how the complaint will be handled and the likely period for completing the investigation and responding to you.
When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn't happen again.
We will send a written response as soon as reasonably practicable after completing the investigation, which will include:
- An explanation of how the complaint has been considered
- The conclusions reached, including any actions for which remedial action is needed and will be taken
- Details of your right to take this complaint to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of the medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Complaining to NHS England
We hope that if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaint procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice.
To make to make your complaint directly to the Primary Care Trust rather than via the practice, please contact orally, in writing or electronically
NHS Commissioning Board
PO Box 16738
Telephone Number 0300 311 2233
Under the NHS Complaints Procedure, complaints are usually investigated only if they are made within 12 months of the event, or within 12 months of you realising that you have something to complain about. However, this 12 month limit does not apply if there were good reasons for not making the complaint within the time limit, or despite the delay, it is still possible to investigate matters effectively and fairly.
There are 2 stages to the NHS Complaints Procedure:
- 1st Stage - local resolution, either by the Practice - Durdells Avenue Surgery, or the PCT - NHS Bournemouth & Poole
- 2nd Stage - Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman,
Tel No: 0345 015 4033
Support for Complaints
Advice and support is available to complaints at all stages from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. Their contact details are
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service
9-11 Church Street
Tel: 01256 463 758 or 0845 120 3782
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.