Complaints

Updated on 14th March 2012 at 2:21 pm

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Complaints

How we can help

If you have a comment, compliment, complaint or concern about the services you have received from any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know.  We operate a practice based complaints procedure as part of the NHS procedure for dealing with complaints.  We take comments, complaints and concerns very seriously and will endeavour to deal with any issues efficiently and effectively.

How to complain

We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints.

You can write to the Practice Manager with details of your complaint or ask to see the Practice Manager, or the person responsible for complaints, in order to discuss your concerns.  She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with confidentially, promptly and thoroughly.  Where a complaint is taken verbally an account of the issues raised will be documented and a copy sent to the person making the complaint to check for accuracy.

Your complaint will be formally acknowledged within 3 working days. An investigation plan will be agreed with the complainant, including:

  • Advice on support available throughout the process.
  • Timescale for investigation and response.
  • Agreement on the desired outcome.

Your complaint will then be thoroughly investigated and a response produced which should address all of the issues raised.

This process is known as Local Resolution.

The aim of the complaints process

We aim to assess your concerns promptly and resolve them quickly if possible. To do this we will work with you to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong.
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problems with those concerned, if you wish to do this.
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate.
  • Try to make sure that the problem does not occur again.

Principles of good complaint handling

The practice adopts the following 6 principles when handling complaints:

  • Getting it right.
  • Being customer focused.
  • Being open and accountable.
  • Acting fairly and proportionately.
  • Putting things right.
  • Seeking continuous improvement.

Who can make a complaint?

Any person who receives or has received our services or a person acting on their behalf (if patient consent has been received).

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we do need to know that it is appropriate for you to do so and a form will need to be completed.

Time limits

A complaint should be made as soon as possible after an event and not more than 12 months after the event occurred or the date that the patient was aware of the event.  The time limit can be extended if there are good grounds for not making the complaint earlier and it is still possible to investigate it fairly and effectively.

What if you remain unhappy following local resolution?

If following the local resolution process you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to refer your complaint to a one stage independent review process, conducted by the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman.

If you need help to make your complaint

If you need any help the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) will be glad to advise and support you.  ICAS is an independent body which represents the views of users of the health service.  They are able to give advice, information and support to complainants throughout these procedures.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

If you do not wish to complain, but just want help and advice or have concerns, you can contact PALS to discuss any queries about the NHS.  PALS provide support to patients, carers and relatives, representing their views and resolving local difficulties on-the-spot by working in partnership with NHS staff.  The service aims to:

  • Advise and support patients, their families and carers.
  • Provide information on NHS services.
  • Listen to your concerns, suggestions and queries.
  • Help sort out problems quickly on your behalf.

You can contact PALS on freephone: 0800 032 0202.

Who to contact

Practice Manager

Northumberland Park Medical Group

Shiremoor Resource Centre

Earsdon Road

Shiremoor

Newcastle upon Tyne.  NE27 0HJ

Tel: 0191 2537892

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)

The Executive CentreNewcastle

Cuthbert House,City Road

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 2ET

Tel. 0300 456 8348

email:  newcastleicas@carersfederation.co.uk

 The Health Service OmbudsmanMillbankTower, MillbankLondon

SW1 4QP

Tel: 0345 0154033

Fax: 0345 0614000.

email:  phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk