The Abington Medical Centre The Abington Health Complex 51a Beech Avenue Northampton NN3 2JG PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

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1 The Abington Medical Centre The Abington Health Complex 51a Beech Avenue Northampton NN3 2JG PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE Patient Information Leaflet If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from Doctors or Staff working in this Practice, please let us know. We operate a Practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints procedure meets 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 ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that please let us have details of your complaint, within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem or within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident. Complaints should be addressed to Mrs Alison Cooper, Practice Manager or any of the Doctors. Alternatively you may ask for an appointment with the practice manager to discuss your concerns. The manager will explain the complaints 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 the complaint. 1

2 What shall we do: We shall acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and arrange putting a plan in place to discuss and agree how the complaint investigation will be handled. How long will it take to complete the investigation Who will investigate Draw out the concerns that you will be investigating What went wrong and how it can be put right What the complainant would like to see as a resolution If you feel unable to approach the Practice: The complaints Manager at the PCT will be able to help you: Complaints Manager NHS Northamptonshire Francis Crick House Summerhouse Road Moulton Park Northampton NN3 6BF Telephone Before you make a complaint it is important to think about what you want to happen as a result of your complaint, and to make this clear at the beginning. You may want: An apology Someone to explain what has happened Some changes or improvements to be made To make sure people recognise their mistakes To make sure the same thing does not happen again 2

3 The complaints Procedure There are two stages to the complaints procedure. Local Resolution is the first stage and Independent Review is the second stage. You can use the NHS Complaints Procedure to complain about anything to do with services that an NHS hospital, Community Health Service or Primary Care Practitioner (for example GPs, Dentists, Opticians & Pharmacies)has provided. Who can complain? You can complain if you are a patient or if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by something an NHS organisation or primary care Practitioner has done or not done. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have their permission in writing. What is the time limit for making a complaint? You should normally complain within 6 months of the event happening or within 6 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. Primary care Practitoners and Complaints Managers in NHS organisations can extend this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier. Will my complaint be kept confidential? If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, you will need to get their permission in writing before we can give you any of their personal information. If you are complaining about a treatment, investigators will need to get the relevant information from your records. If you don t want them to do this you should let the Complaints Manager know. 3

4 First Stage Local Resolution Local Resolution aims to sort out your complaint quickly and as close as possible to the person, service organisation you are complaining about, in a most appropriate way. You should complain to the NHS organisation or Primary Care Practitioner providing the service. You can do this immediately by speaking to: The Practice Manager, Doctor or Nurse. NHS Northamptonshire/Milton Keynes They may be able to sort out your concern informally. However, if you want to make a formal complaint you can do this verbally or by writing to the Primary Care Practitioner or NHS organisation concerned. If you make your complaint verbally the Complaints Manager must make a written record. Or if you prefer an independent complaints advocacy service can do this. The complaints lead will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days. The complaints lead will discuss with you a date that you can expect to receive a response to your complaint. Conciliation Conciliation or mediation is one way to sort out your complaint at the local resolution stage. This process uses an independent lay conciliator to help work out your concerns. You can ask the NHS Northamptonshire Complaints Manager for more information in this service. The local resolution stage of the complaints procedure may be different if you are complaining about a foundation trust. 4

5 What if I am not happy with the Local Resolution? If you are not happy with the response to your complaint at the first stage, including a complaint (if you are a patient) about an NHS Foundation Trust, you can ask the Healthcare Commission for an Independent Review of your case the second stage). The Healthcare Commission is an independent organisation set up to encourage improvements in healthcare. You can contact the Commission at: The Healthcare Commission Complaints Team Peter House Oxford Street Manchester M1 5AN Phone: You must write to them within 2 months of the date the response was sent to you. You must say what you are still not happy about and why Local Resolution did not work for you. They will tell you in writing what they will do. What if I am still not happy? If you are still not happy after Local Resolution and Independent Review you can ask the Health Service Ombudsman to investigate your complaint. The Health Service Ombudsman Phone Visit - 5

6 NHS Foundation Trusts NHS Foundation Trusts have their own complaints systems which could be different from the Local Resolution process described in this leaflet. You should contact the NHS Foundation Trust for advice on how to make a complaint. If you are not happy with their response to your complaint you can ask the Healthcare Commission to carry out an independent review. You should contact the NHS Foundation Trust for advice on how to make a complaint. Where can I get more advice and help? The independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) can help people make a complaint or express a concern about NHS services Staff at ICAS can support you if you want to make a complaint, and give you advice about using the complaint system. They can also write letters on your behalf, and go with you to meetings. If you need particular help, for example if English is not your first language, you can speak to ICAS. Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) Leicester Office Business Box Oswin Road Braunstone Leicester LE3 1HR Telephone Will I be asked to give personal information when I make a complaint? When you are making a complaint you will be asked to provide information about yourself or if you are not the patient, about the patient themselves. 6

7 This information could include details of your ethnic background, age and sex. This is to make sure that the organisation and the NHS as a whole monitors the concerns and complaints of all patients equally. We will keep all information you give us confidential. 7

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