Complaints Policy

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

Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned, often at the time they arise, and this may be the approach you try first.Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned, often at the time they arise, and this may be the approach you try first.

Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, giving as much detail as you can, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:

  • Within 12 months of the incident,
  • or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter

If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are not normally able to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in this leaflet for what to do in this case.

We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing it covers all of the necessary aspects.

We would prefer to receive your complaint in writing as this enables us to fully investigate your complaint and speak to any staff or clinicians involved before addressing your concerns. Please send your written complaint to Patient Services Manager, The Doctors’ House, Victoria Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 1DN. Alternatively, complaints can be submitted through our “Feedback and Complaints” form online.

Or you can telephone the Patient Services Manager on 01628 405570 (Monday to Friday), who will explain the procedure to you and make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly.

What we do next

We aim to settle complaints as soon as possible.

We will usually acknowledge receipt within three working days, and aim to resolve the matter as soon as possible but will give you some idea of how long that may take at the outset. You will then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.

When looking into a complaint, we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you wish to do so.

When the investigations are complete, a final written response will be sent to you.

Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been initially sent to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.

The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to refer the matter further to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (details shown elsewhere in this leaflet) if you remain dissatisfied with the response.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it. In the event the patient is deceased, then we may agree to respond to a family member or anyone acting on their behalf or who has had an interest in the welfare of the patient.

Please ask at reception for the Patient Complaint Third-Part Consent Form, which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed. Alternatively, we will send one to you to return to us when we receive your initial written complaint.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that prevent this in your covering letter.

Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express
permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply. You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who is capable of making their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.

We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority
provided.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

The NHS Buckinghamshire Patient Experience Service provides confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide. Tel: 0800 328 5640 between 8.30am- 4.00pm Mon-Thurs, 8.30am-3.00pm Fri
or email: feedback.chilternccg@nhs.net

NHS England welcomes concerns, compliments and complaints as valuable feedback that will help us learn from your experiences and make improvements to services we commission. You can complain or give feedback by telephone 0300 311 22 33 our opening hours are: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, except Wednesdays when we open at the later time of 9.30am.
By email to: england.contactus@nhs.net
If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
By post to:
NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch
B97 9PT

If you remain dissatisfied with the responses to your complaint, you have the right to ask the Health Service Ombudsman to review your case. You can contact them by calling the complaints line on 0345 015 4033 Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm (calls cost the same as to a UK landline)
Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk
or write to them at:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

If your complaint is against an NHS Service but not The Marlow Medical Group please contact The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) by telephone on 01296 316042 Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm.
Email: PALS@buckshealthcare.nhs.uk
Or write to them:
PALS
Reception Area
Wycombe Hospital
Queen Alexandra Road
High Wycombe
Bucks
HP11 2TT

 

Help in making your complaint

You may also approach Healthwatch or your local Health Complaints Advocacy Service (seAp). They both provide free, confidential independent advice:

Healthwatch: www.healthwatch.co.uk/

SeAp
Telephone: 0330 440 9000
Text: SEAP to 80800
Email: info@seap.org.uk
Web: www.seap.org.uk
Online Referrals: Spartan.seap.org.uk

Help us get it right

We constantly try to improve the service we provide and are willing to hear your comments and suggestions following your experiences.

Please let us know when you think we have done something well or if you have any suggestions as to how we can do something better.