Stage 1 - Local Resolution
The aim of Local Resolution is to try to sort out your problem directly with the surgery. Management aims to respond to you efficiently, sensitively and promptly.
Local Resolution is your opportunity to explain what it is you are unhappy about and what you would like to happen. It gives you and the management time to listen and discuss the incident. Local Resolution is important because it aims to resolve your concerns and, where appropriate, use your experiences to improve local services.
At this stage it is important to raise everything that you are unhappy about, as new issues cannot later be introduced as part of the same complaint.
It may be helpful to keep a record of any telephone calls you make and letters you write or receive about your complaint.
Are there time limits for making a complaint?
Yes. Generally, you should make your complaint within:
Twelve months of the incident happening or
Within twelve months of you realising that you have something to complain about.
The surgery can use its discretion to look at issues that are beyond these timescales. For instance, if you were too ill to make the complaint straight away the surgery will consider if it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.
How do I complain?
You can explain what happened to you:
On the telephone
In a letter
The surgery prefers having complaints in writing but if you would rather telephone or go in person, Mr Shaun Chadwick (Practice Manager) will make a written record of your complaint. The issues you raise should be written down and a copy given to you.
Useful tip: if you send a written complaint, keep a copy of your letter to refer to later.
All NHS organisations have complaints procedures and in most cases they will probably be best placed to deal with your complaint. However, you can complain to the CCG if you wish to do so. The CCG is responsible for all NHS services in your local area.
If you want to complain about your hospital or ambulance service contact the Complaints Manager or the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust.
For complaints about primary care and independent providers such as your GP, dentist, optician, pharmacist, health centre or other independent NHS contractor, you have two options:
You can complain directly to the surgery by contacting Mr Shaun Chadwick (Practice Manager)
You can complain to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG is responsible for all care in your local area and they work closely with primary care practitioners such as GPs and dentists.
Leicester City CCG email:
Leicester City CCG Enquiries:
0116 295 1478
If you choose to make a complaint directly to the organisation and you are not satisfied with their response you cannot then raise the issue with the CCG but must go straight to the Health Service Ombudsman (HSO).
Remember, if your complaint concerns more than one NHS organisation, you only need to send a letter to one of the organisations. They will liaise with the other organisation(s) involved and provide a co-ordinated response. If you need support with any of these processes a free independent ICAS Advocate will be able to help you.
What will happen next?
Sometimes it may be possible to resolve your concerns immediately. If this is not the case management:
Will acknowledge your complaint either verbally or in writing within three working days.
Will offer to contact you to discuss your complaint and arrange a plan to resolve your concerns with you. This means that we will discuss how best to resolve your concerns and what you hope to achieve from raising them. We will also agree with you a timescale for resolving the issues and how we will keep you informed of progress. The suggested timescales can be influenced by things like how many staff we need to speak to, how easy it is for them to access your medical records and if other NHS organisations are involved in your complaint. If there is a problem in keeping to the agreed timescale we will contact you before it expires to agree an amended timescale.
We will offer assistance to enable you to understand the complaints procedure or advice on where to obtain such assistance, such as, from your local ICAS provider.
Resolving your complaint
You will be offered a meeting to discuss your complaint and speak to staff directly about what has happened. You can bring a friend, relative and/or Advocate with you to any meetings that you might have
Sometimes the NHS uses Conciliation or Mediation services. A conciliator/mediator is a neutral and independent person who can arrange a meeting with you and those involved (either separately or together) so you can all express your views and try to resolve your differences. A conciliator will become involved only if everyone affected agrees. The conciliation process is confidential
Conciliation and Mediation Services differs from Trust to Trust so if this is offered you should ask the Complaints Manager to explain how it operates in your area.
Useful tip: It may be helpful to prepare a list of questions you want to ask at your meeting and bring this with you. Try to keep these questions clear and concise. It is also helpful to take any relevant paperwork with you to the meeting.
After the Investigation
Once the investigation is finished and any meetings have been held, the Complaints Manager should send you a letter containing:
A summary of your complaint
What the investigation found and any actions that are going to be taken as a result
What to do if you are still unhappy with the answers given
Depending on the investigation, the letter may contain:
An apology, if relevant
What actions will be taken and when, as a result of your complaint
Who is responsible for making this happen
What steps have been taken to prevent the same thing happening to other people
The letter should be:
Balanced, factual and impartial
Clear and easy to understand
It should avoid technical terms and, if they are used, it should explain what they mean
If you haven’t received this letter within the timescale agreed in the plan you may want to ring or write to check when you can expect to receive it.
If you have agreed, this letter may be sent in electronic form by email.
The Health Service Ombudsman (HSO) has produced a set of six clear principles for good complaints handling. All NHS organisations are expected to follow these principles when dealing with your complaint. You can request details of this guidance from your local ICAS office or from this website. Alternatively you can find out more by visiting the HSO website atwww.ombudsman.org.uk