Every patient has the right to make a complaint about the treatment or care they have received at Coleridge Medical Centre
We understand that we may not always get everything right and, by telling us about the problem you have encountered, we will be able to improve our services and patient experience.
Before making a complaint, you could raise your concerns verbally with either a member of our medical administrator team, or our duty manager. This could get your problem sorted out by the end of the following day.
Many complaints can be resolved at local level and without the need for a full investigation and written response.
If the concern you raised cannot be sorted by the end of the following day, then you can make a formal complaint to the practice. All formal complaints need to be made in writing.
Please write directly to the Complaints Manager, at our postal address or using email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A complaints form is available from the reception desk, or this form can be downloaded HERE.
If for any reason you do not want to submit your complaint to the practice, you can raise the issue with NHS England instead. For information on making a complaint to NHS England, visit: www.england.nhs.uk
You can also send your written complaint to NHS England by post:
PO BOX 16738
Coleridge Medical Centre will investigate all complaints effectively and in conjunction with extant legislation and guidance.
Time-frames for complaints
The time constraint on bringing a complaint is 12 months from the occurrence giving rise to the complaint, or 12 months from the time you become aware of the matter about which you wish to complain.
The Complaints Manager will respond to all complaints within three business days.
We will aim to investigate and provide you with the findings as soon as we can and will provide an anticipated timescale regarding the investigation of your complaint.
Coleridge Medical Centre will issue a final formal response to all complainants which will provide full details and the outcome of the complaint.
If you have had a final response from either the practice or NHS England, and you feel like your issue still hasn't been resolved, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to look into your complaint.
Call 0345 015 4033 or visit www.ombudsman.org.uk for more information.
You can also contact them by post:
Parliamentary Health Service
Coleridge Medical Centre will ensure that all complaints are investigated with the utmost confidentiality and that any documents are held separately from the patient’s healthcare record.
Third party complaints
Coleridge Medical Centre allows a third party to make a complaint on behalf of a patient. The patient must provide consent for them to do so. A third party patient complaint form is available HERE.
Terms and Conditions of Coleridge Medical Centre Complaints Procedure
It is a contractual obligation for all practices to follow the recommended NHS complaints procedure and Coleridge Medical Centre embraces this procedure.
A formal complaint can be made by a patient, or anyone else who has been affected by the action, omission or decision of the practice that led to the complaint. We will ask for written consent from the person about whom the complaint is on behalf of. This will not delay our investigation but may delay our response to a third party.
A formal complaint must be made within 12 months of the date of the event that is the subject of the complaint or the date that the matter came to the complainant’s attention. We have discretion on whether to agree to a complaint beyond this time frame if the complainant is considered to have good reason for a delay in complaining and if it is still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively.
If an oral complaint is dealt with to the complainant’s satisfaction within 24 hours then it will not be necessary to embark upon the formal complaints process (the complaints procedure regulations need not be applied).
In the formal process:
- We will send acknowledgement to a complainant within three working days of the complaint being received. This acknowledgement need not address any of the issues relating to the detail of the complaint itself but will inform the complainant that the matter will be investigated. This acknowledgement can be made in written form or by telephone. If made by telephone, a record will be kept. Email communication is not currently routinely accepted or recommended.
- A letter, meeting or telephone conversation may be arranged to discuss the complaint with the complainant.
- If it is not clear from initial communication with the patient, we will aim to quickly establish what outcome the complainant expects and to let them know whether this is a realistic possibility.
- Once a clear and precise description of the complaint has been agreed, this will be written down and a contract signed setting out the terms and conditions of investigating the complaint.
- Complaints will then follow the in house complaints procedure to a logical conclusion. We may seek legal or other advice before responding.
- All formal complaints are documented and records are kept for a period of 10 years; cases may be discussed at multi-disciplinary team meetings for learning purposes and outcomes recorded. If the complaint fulfils criteria for a significant event then the outcomes may also be shared with NHS and local commissioning teams as per local guidance at the time.
- Vexatious complaints that come directly to the practice can be rejected, with confirmation of the rejection and the reasons for the rejection will be sent to the complainant. The practice may also inform other organisations including medical defence organisations if we feel that the complaints system is being abused.
- POhWER support centre can be contacted via 0300 456 2370
- SeAp Advocacy provides support on 0330 440 9000
- Age UK can be contacted on 0800 055 6112
Top 5 Tips for Making a Complaint to your GP Practice
Tip 1: Make your complaint clear
What happened? When did it happen? How has it affected you?
Tip 2: Decide what you would like to achieve
How would you like things to be put right? Perhaps you want an apology, a meeting to discuss the problem or for action to be taken to stop the same mistake from happening again.
Tip 3: Complain as soon as you can
It's best to complain as soon as possible while the events are still fresh in your mind.
Tip 4: Keep a note of anyone involved in your complaint
Write down the names and positions of the people involved in, and dealing with, your complaint. Make sure you keep copies of any emails or letters you get; you may need to refer to them in the future.
Tip 5: Ask for help
If you need support on putting your complaint together, you can contact your local advocay provider by visiting www.local.gov.uk
You can also contact you local Healthwatch for more information by visiting www.healthwatch.org.uk