At Chartfield Surgery, the wellbeing of our patients is our highest priority. We undertake a regular assessment of the quality of service which we provide to patients, and we maintain a system of day-to-day monitoring of procedures, incidents, complaints, and processes to ensure that our standards of care are upheld.
When an incident or event occurs which indicates that the quality of our care has fallen below the high standards which we set for ourselves, we will promptly record the incident, investigate accordingly, discuss the event among staff, and attempt to resolve the incident to the best of our ability. All events are subject to a post-event review which is aimed at ensuring that the circumstances which led to the event are not repeated.
Receipt of Complaints
The Practice may receive a complaint made by or, (with his/her consent) on behalf of a patient, or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice, or:
(a) Where the patient is a child:
by either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child;
by a person duly authorised by a local authority to whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989;
by a person duly authorised by a voluntary organisation by which the child is being accommodated .
(b) Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a relative or other adult who has an interest in his/her welfare.
All complaints, written and verbal, will be recorded, and written complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days of receipt. Patients are encouraged to complain in writing where possible. The reply to the patient should be made within 10 working days or the patient should be provided with an update and an estimated timescale.
The complaint may be made in any way which is convenient to the patient – those with disabilities, who are house-bound, or have other requirements will be permitted to deal with their complaint in a non-standard way (e.g. the practice will communicate via e-mail where this does not normally occur).
Where the complaint involves more than one provider the Complaints Manager will discuss this with the other provider and agree a joint approach. The patient will be informed that this is the case.
Period within which complaints can be made
The period for making a complaint is normally:
(a) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred;
(b) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant's notice.
Timescales can be extended if it is still possible to proceed with the complaint.
Complaints should normally be resolved within 6 months. The practice standard will be 10 days for a response
The Complaints Manager or lead GP has the discretion to extend the time limits if the complainant has good reason for not making the complaint sooner, or where it is still possible to properly investigate the complaint despite extended delay.
When considering an extension to the time limit it is important that the Complaints Manager or the GP takes into consideration that the passage of time may prevent an accurate recollection of events by the clinician concerned or by the person bringing the complaint. The collection of evidence, Clinical Guidelines or other resources relating to the time when the complaint event arose may also be difficult to establish or obtain. These factors may be considered as suitable reason for declining a time limit extension.