Front of house staff crisis

Dear Patients, We would like to bring to your attention that we are currently facing a workforce crisis within our Patient Navigation (Reception) team. We have two members of staff on long-term sickness leave and two who have recently resigned. This represents a 40% loss of capacity within the team. We immediately began the recruitment

Need help with a non-urgent medical or admin request? Contact us online.

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 like the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To have your complaint investigated, you need to complain within 12 months of the event happening, or as soon as you first become aware of the issue you want to complain about.

The time limit can be extended in special circumstances.

Interpreting Service

We can arrange for a meeting with the Practice Manager and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.

How to make a complaint

Receiving compliments and complaints is important to ensuring good quality local healthcare in our Practice – helping us to find out more about what we’re getting right and what we can improve.

To pursue a complaint, we encourage patients to either:

  • Complete our online complaints form or using the forms available in our Reception. 
  • Send a letter to the Practice Manager, St Pauls Surgery, Alison Way, Winchester, SO225DD

Forms can be completed anonymously, however, this will eliminate the opportunity for us to respond.

We understand that some patients may prefer to communicate their complaint verbally.  Please do so by calling the practice, 01962 853599, and ask to speak to the complaint’s coordinator.

Formal Complaint

What we will do

We aim to acknowledge your complaint where possible within 3 working days. We will then proceed to investigate your concerns. We aim to provide a complaint explanation within 21 days; this is usually in a writte format.

Any investigation carried out by us typically involves:

  • Finding out what happened or went wrong
  • A verbal conversation with you and, where appropriate, and we may invite you to discuss the problem with those involved; if you would like to do so.
  • Apologise where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again.


 

In General

Who can complain

  • Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
  • Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
  • Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.

If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.

Appropriate person

In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.

  • For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
  • If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.

If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.

Time limits

A complaint must be made within 12 months, either from the date of the incident or from when the complainant first knew about it.

The regulations state that a responsible body should only consider a complaint after this time limit if:

  • the complainant has good reason for doing so, and
  • it’s still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.

Procedure

We have a two stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly however if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will notify you and then keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one – Early, local resolution

  • We will try to resolve your complaint within five working days if possible.
  • If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to escalate your complaint to Stage Two.

Stage Two – Investigation

  • We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage One.
  • We also escalate some complaints straight to this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and we will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be no more that 21 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time to respond.

Complain to the Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Address:

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tower 30
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

Phone: 0345 015 4033

E: email the Ombudsman 

Organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services

PALS

Hampshire Hospitals Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The Customer Care Office
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
Aldermaston Road
Basingstoke
Hampshire
RG24 9NA

Tel: 01256 486766 Email: [email protected]

Or

South East Complaints Hub

NHS Frimley ICB, Aldershot Centre for Health, Hospital Hill, Aldershot, GU11 1AY

Tel: 0300 561 0290 Email: [email protected]

Confidentiality

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.

We keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.

Statistics and reporting

The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.

Give feedback or make a complaint

You can complain to a member of staff at the NHS service you went to, such as a GP surgery or hospital, or you can complain to the organisation in charge.