Complaints / Suggestions
Our aim is to provide the highest level of care for all our patients. We will always be willing to hear if there is any way that you think that we can improve the service we provide.Making a complaint
If you have any complaints or concerns about the service that you have received from the doctors or staff working for this practice, please let us know.
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 that is within 12 months of the incident.
The Practice Manager will be pleased to deal with any complaint. He will explain the procedure to you and make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly.
You can make your complaint:
- In person – ask to speak to the Practice Manager or the Assistant Practice Manager
- In writing – some complaints may be easier to explain in writing - please give as much information as can, then send your complaint to the practice for the attention of the Practice Manager as soon as possible.
What we shall do?
Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we settle any complaints as quickly as possible.
We shall acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 25 working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the people involved.
When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
- make sure you receive an apology, where appropriate
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.
At the end of the investigation your complaint will be discussed with you in detail, either in in person or in writing.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.
FOI replaced the Open Government Code of Practice, which has been in operation since 1994.
Data Protection and FOI - how do the two interact?
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It provides living individuals with a right of access to personal information held about them. The right applies to all information held in computerised form and also to non-computerised information held in filing systems structured so that specific information about particular individuals can retrieved readily.
Individuals already have the right to access information about themselves (personal data), which is held on computer and in some paper files under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The right also applies to those archives that meet these criteria. However, the right is subject to exemptions, which will affect whether information is provided. Requests will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
The Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor’s Department. A few of its strategic objectives being:
To improve people’s knowledge and understanding of their rights and responsibilities
Seeking to encourage an increase in openness in the public sector
Monitoring the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
Developing a data protection policy which properly balances personal information privacy with the need for public and private organisations to process personal information
The Data Protection Act does not give third parties rights of access to personal information for research purposes.
The FOI Act does not give individuals access to their personal information, though if a request is made, the Data Protection Act gives the individual this right. If the individual chooses to make this information public it could be used alongside non-personal information gained by the public under the terms of the FOI Act.
You will be treated with respect and as a partner in your care. Being a partner means you have responsibilities too.
Ensure our patients have 24-hour access to medical advice.
Aim for you to have access to a suitably qualified medical professional within 48 hours of your initial contact during surgery hours, or in an urgent case, the same day.
Work in partnership with you to achieve the best medical care possible.
Involve you and listen to your opinions and views in all aspects of your medical care.
The prevention of disease, illness and injury is a primary concern.
The medical staff will advise and inform you of the steps you can take to promote good health and a healthy lifestyle. We would respectfully ask that you:
Let us know if you intend to cancel an appointment or are running late.
Treat staff with courtesy and respect. Reception staff may have to ask some personal questions to assist us in providing you with the best service
Inform the practice staff of any alterations in your circumstances, such as change of surname, address or telephone number. Please ensure that we have your correct telephone number, even if it’s ex-directory.
As patients, you are responsible for your own health and that of any dependents. It is important that you adhere to information and advice given to you by health professionals, and co-operate with the practice in endeavouring to keep you healthy.
The practice complies with Data Protection and Access to Medical Records legislation. Identifiable information about you will be shared with others in the following circumstances:
To provide further medical treatment for you e.g. from district nurses and hospital services.
To help you get other services e.g. from the social work department. This requires your consent.
When we have a duty to others e.g. in child protection cases Anonymised patient information will also be used at local and national level to help the Health Board and Government plan services e.g. for diabetic care.
If you do not wish anonymous information about you to be used in such a way, please let us know.
Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs. These members of staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the medical staff.