East Norfolk Medical Practice (ENMP) will take reasonable steps to ensure that patients are aware of:
- The complaints procedure
- The time limit for resolution
- How the complaint will be dealt with
- Who will deal with the complaint?
- The complainant’s right of appeal
- Further action the complainant can take if not satisfied
- Complaints made will not affect any ongoing treatment from the Practice and complainants will continue to be treated with due care and attention
Receipt of complaints
Complaints will be accepted verbally or in writing. In most cases, verbal complaints can be resolved quickly and directly at the time or shortly after of the incident.
Formal complaints should normally be made in writing by the patient or (with his /her consent) on behalf of a patient, or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the Practice, or:
(a) Where the patient is a child:
- by either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child;
- by a person authorised by a local authority to whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989;
- by a person authorised by a voluntary organisation by which the child is being accommodated
(b) Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, complaints may be made by a relative or other adult who has an interest in his/her welfare.
ENMP welcomes feedback or complaints and both can be forwarded to the Safeguarding and Complaints Manager via post to East Norfolk Medical Practice, The Lighthouse Medical Centre, Howard Street South Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PT or via email to NWCCG.ENMPcomplaints@nhs.net.
Alternatively, complaints can be addressed to NHS England, but complaining to boththe Practice and NHS England is not possible. The contact details for NHS England are:
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Telephone: 0300 311 2233
Period within which complaints can be made
The period for making a complaint is normally:
(a) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred; or
b) 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant’s notice.
The Safeguarding and Complaints Manager has the discretion to extend the time limits if the complainant has good reason for not making the complaint sooner, or where it is still possible to properly investigate the complaint despite extended delay.
When considering an extension to the time limit it is important that the Safeguarding and Complaints Manager takes into consideration that the passage of time may prevent an accurate recollection of events by the clinician concerned or by the person bringing the complaint. The collection of evidence, clinical guidelines or other resources relating to the time when the complaint event arose may also be difficult to establish or obtain. These factors may be considered as suitable reason for declining a time limit extension.
The final response to the complainant should include:
- A clear statement of the issues, investigations and the findings, giving clear evidence-based reasons for decisions if appropriate.
- Where errors have occurred, an explanation of these and a statement of what will be done to put these right, or prevent repetition.
- A focus on fair and proportionate outcomes for the patient, including any remedial action or compensation.
- A clear statement that the response is the final one, or that further action or reports will be sent later.
- An apology or explanation as appropriate.
- A statement of the right to escalate the complaint, together with the relevant contact detail.
- It should also advise on the next step in the process if the complainant is still not satisfied. There would normally be an offer to meet with the Safeguarding and Complaints Manager and/or the clinician against whom the complaint was made.
If at that point resolution is still not achieved then either side can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Citygate, Mosely Street, Manchester, M2 3HQ.
All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence . The Practice must keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.