The Clinic aims to ensure that the whole community feels happy and secure in their work or treatment and in all contacts with us. There is an awareness, however, that things can go wrong and therefore we welcomes suggestions and comments from patients, parents/carers and staff. We take seriously any complaints and concerns that may arise. Many concerns that patients, parents/carers and staff have do not necessarily call for complaint, but should still be brought to the clinic’s attention. Help can only be given about issues that are known. This policy is made available to the patients, parents/carers and staff through the clinic website or a hard copy if requested. It is applicable to all patients, parents/carers and staff in the clinic.
Concern – Defined
A concern is likely to require discussion, perhaps involving a clinician, patients, parents/carers and staff, and it is hoped that it can be resolved quickly by such a discussion and appropriate action. A concern is dealt with through the normal daily structures of the Clinic. If this does not resolve the concern then it could become a complaint.
Complaint – Defined
A complaint will be treated as an expression of genuine dissatisfaction, which needs a response and is likely to arise when there are issues related to physical or emotional well-being, or over security, or when the Clinic’s stated aims or values are being ignored.
A breach of the law will always constitute a complaint.
Any matter about whichpatients, parents/carers or staff is unhappy and seeks action by the clinic is now a complaint.
The Practice Manager will be informed of all complaints and their outcome.
A written record is kept of all formal complaints, and whether they are resolved at the preliminary stages or proceed to a further stage.
The clinic will endeavour to deal with complaints within a reasonable time and in a courteous and efficient way and, where appropriate, will take action.
It is the clinic’s policy that complaints should not ever rebound on the person making the complaint.
Stage 1 – Informal
Wherever possible it is best to raise an issue face to face with the person most closely concerned with the matter. Please make an appointment with the person concerned to allow for a suitable period of time to be available to discuss the issues fully. This normally results in the matter being resolved immediately and often to your satisfaction. You will not be charged for an appointment.
You may ask for a meeting with a senior member of staff to raise your concern and again the matter will normally be resolved quickly to both parties’ satisfaction. In this instance the time frame to manage the complaint will be immediate and feedback will be verbal providing that a satisfactory outcome has been achieved.
Stage 2 – Formal
If your complaint cannot be satisfactorily dealt with on an informal basis, you may make a more formal complaint in writing and the clinic will:
- Acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working day
- Inform you how the matter will be dealt with and how matters will proceed
- Carry out any necessary investigations.
- Send a letter to explain the conclusion to you, along with reasons for it and any action being taken or proposed.
Your complaint or concern will remain confidential and all information treated with respect. Knowledge of it will be limited to the Practice Manager and those directly involved.
We cannot rule out the possibility of the need to make third parties outside the clinic aware of the complaint and possibly the identities of those involved. This would only be likely to be necessary where a patient or child’s safety is involved or an illegal act has occurred. You will be kept fully informed where appropriate.
Whilst information relating to specific complaints will be kept confidentially on file, we are unlikely to be able to pursue anonymous complaints.
Action, which needs to be taken under staff disciplinary procedures as a result of complaints, will be handled confidentially within clinic.
A complaint of this nature should normally be managed within fourteen working days. (Occasionally clinic holiday periods or exceptional circumstances may lead to a longer period being required, not longer than twenty eight days)
Stage 3 – Independent investigation
If your concern has still not been satisfied you may wish to seek independent legal advice. You may also contact The Governing body of the clinician involved. A list of these bodies and their contact details will be available from the clinic.
If a child is at risk
If a child appears to be at risk, the clinic’s safeguarding policy and guidelines will be followed, as will, the guidelines of the appropriate local authority safeguarding board. In these cases both the parent and relevant staff will work with the clinic’s Safeguarding Officer, Mrs Karen Ramsay.
Written records, statements and correspondence relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential except where an official body conducting an inspection request access to them.
This record will state whether the complaint was resolved at a preliminary stage or progressed to a panel and will be kept for a minimum of three years. All complaints that reach a formal written stage will be recorded in the summary log kept in the Practice Manager’s office. This log will be made available to inspectors from appropriate bodies.