Suggestions, Comments, and Complaints
If you feel that you would like to make a comment or complaint about the service that we offer, then please get in contact with us. Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned. If something is not going right, please tell us straight away. We want to put it right if we can.
We would also like to hear from you regarding any aspects of your care, that you would like to provide us with positive feedback about or specific staff members that you have come into contact with at the practice.
Where you have a complaint and have not been able to resolve this informally and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing, as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the incident or within 12 months of you discovering that you have a problem.
The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it is still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.
State your case clearly giving as much detail as you can.
Send written complaints to:
What we do next
We look to investigate and respond to complaints as soon as possible.
We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days and provide an initial response as soon as reasonably practicable, ensuring that the patient is kept up to date with progress as appropriate. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than originally expected we will let you know, and keep you informed of the investigation progresses.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.
When the investigations are complete, your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.
The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in a covering letter.
Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.
We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.
NHS Complaints Advocacy Service
Local authorities are required to provide access to an independent, free advocacy service to support people with making a complaint. In Norfolk, NHS complaints advocacy is provided by a partnership of Community Action Norfolk (the first three provide advocates, whilst CAN promotes, publicises and raises public and professional awareness).
You can access this service by phoning 0300 456 2370 to be referred to a POhWER adviser. In Norfolk, Age UK have trained advisers able to deal with specific disability and older-age related complaints.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint:
You have the right to approach the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman. The contact details are:
Telephone: 0345 0154033
Address: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Health and Social Care Information Centre
Public enquiries, complaints and Patient Advice Liaison requests relating to Primary Care services can be referred to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Contact may be made via telephone, email and postal communications channels, which will be accessible as follows:
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
Address: NHS England, PO BOX 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
The service will operate Monday to Friday, 08.00 – 18.00, excluding bank holidays.
This service is for commissioned services. Patients should be encouraged to try and resolve any issues direct with the provider of the service but if they remain unsatisfied they can either take the matter up with the Health and Social Care Information Centre or with the Ombudsman.