Regulation 16: Receiving and acting on complaints

People who use services or others acting on their behalf:

  • Are sure that their comments and complaints are listened to and acted on effectively
  • Know that they will not be discriminated against for making a complaint

The aims of this policy and procedure is that complaints made by patients or their relatives are listened to and acted upon effectively by:

  • having systems in place to deal with comments and complaints, including providing people who use services with information about that system.
  • supporting people who use the services and their nominated representatives to make comments or complaints.
  • considering fully, responding appropriately and resolving, where possible, any comments or complaints.

Newson Health Limited has established processes for dealing with the complaints, irrespective of its nature, which complies with the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Our aim is to give our patient the highest possible standard of service and we try to deal with all the complaints as quickly as possible

The complaints process is available for all our patients on our website, www.newsonhealth.co.uk.

Patient/patients are asked that in the event of any complaint, to speak or write to the practice manager.

Patient/patients who require further advice regarding the complaints process should direct their enquiry to the practice manager who, wherever applicable, will recommend the services of an independent advocate. A copy of the complaints process is held in the waiting room.

Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we settle any complaints as quickly as possible.

We shall acknowledge complaints within 2 working days and aim to have considered the complaint within 20 days of the date when it was raised. 

We shall offer an explanation, or a meeting as appropriate.  If there are any delays in the process we will keep the complainant informed.

When we consider a complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make it possible for the complainant to discuss the problem with those concerned
  • Make sure the complainant receives an apology where appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again

At the end of the investigation the complaint will be discussed with the complainant in detail, either in person or in writing.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

If the complaint is received on behalf of someone else, the rules of patient confidentiality will be kept.

A note signed by the person concerned will be needed unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this to allow the complaint to be investigated.

Newson Health Limited complaint process has 3 key stages:

  1. Local resolution
  2. Appeals to senior management
  3. Appeals to managing director

Stage 1- Local resolution

All complaints whether written or verbal must be documented either by the member of staff or the clinic manager.  If the member of staff is not capable of dealing with the complaint, written details should be passed onto the clinic manager.

Staff must try to retain all complaints at a local level as escalating a complaint can result in a patient not returning. All letters responded to by staff must be checked by the clinic manager.

Stage 2- Appeal to senior management

The preferred outcome is local resolution of a complaint however if the complainant is dissatisfied after the initial response, they may direct their complaint to the senior management team. If the complainant is still not satisfied with the stage 2 responses, they may then direct their complaint to the responsible Person / Manager of Newson Health Limited.

Stage 3- Appeal to Managing Director

The responsible Person / Manager will review all aspects of the complaint and respond by either confirming the findings and actions taken in stages 1 and 2 of the process, or they may reach a separate conclusion as to the appropriate outcome.

Payments and refunds

In some cases, it may be appropriate to waive fees or offer a refund. This must be authorised by the managing director. If a complaint indicates their intent to start litigation, then a compensation payment is not appropriate.

Complaints of a clinical nature

The clinic manager will inform the practitioner/medical staff of a clinical or serious complaint made against them by a patient. Similarly, the practitioner/medical staff should always inform their manager.

If the complaint is about the clinic manager, then the manager must follow the procedure and inform the senior management team.

If the complaint related to clinical care, the clinic manager will escalate to the medical director in the investigation and drafting of the response.

Accessibility of Comments and Complaints Policy

Staff will make the Complaints Policy accessible to patients and relatives:

(a) A copy of the Complaints Policy is available on our website www.newsonhealth.co.uk
(b) Staff will provide help to any patient or relative of any patient who wishes to make a complaint.
(c) A copy of the Complaints Policy will be provided to any patient or patient’s relative on request.

Staff Training on Complaints Management

All staff (including those with practising privileges) will receive a copy of the Complaints Policy and will receive training on management of complaints and complaints handling process at the time of induction.

Definition of a Complaint

  • A complaint is an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction about any matter reasonably connected with the services provided by a Member or another member of staff.
  • A complaint which is made orally and is resolved with 24hours will be recorded as locally resolved in the Complaints Register.
  • Where the complaint relates to a breach of statutory regulations and the organisation is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) patients can contact the CQC.

Timescales for Handling and Investigating Complaints

All complaints will receive a written acknowledgment within 2 working days of receipt (unless a full reply can be sent within 5 working days).

A full response will be made within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint (if this not possible a letter, explaining the reason for the delay will be sent to the complainant and a full response will be made within 5 working days of the conclusion of the process).

Notification of Outcome of Complaint

Complainants will be notified of the outcome of their complaint and any actions taken as a result of the complaint immediately upon conclusion of the process.

Complaints Register

A register will be kept of complaints containing the following information:

(a) Date of complaint
(b) Name of complainant
(c) Nature of complaint and details of staff involved
(d) Action taken to investigate the complaint
(e) Outcome and action taken as a result of the complaint
(f) Date of full response to complainant

The register shall be kept for 5 years from the date of the last entry

Records of Complaints

All correspondence relating to a complaint will be kept for 5 years.

A register will be kept of all complaints including appropriate details, including outcome.

A quarterly audit of complaints will be produced detailing the nature and outcomes of complaints and a quarterly summary of complaints will be discussed at staff meeting and shall include:

(a) Number of complaints received
(b) Nature of complaints and details of staff involved
(c) Resolutions of complaints
(d) Actions taken in response to complaints
(e) Details of any complaints relating to Members of staff which have progressed to litigation or to GMC hearings.

Examples of control measures

Substance, process

Control equipment

Way of working

Managing

Cleaning with solvent on rag.

  • Use a rag holder.
  • Provide a small bin with a lid for used rags.
  • Avoid skin contact.
  • Reduce solvent vapour from used rags.
  • Check controls are used.
  • Safe disposal.

Dust and sparks from abrasive wheel.

■ Put an enclosure around the wheel and extract the air to a safe place.

  • Check the air ow indicator.
  • Make sure the extraction works.
  • Maintain controls.
  • Test controls as required

by law.

Fume from cutting demolition scrap.

  • Ventilated welding helmet, gloves.
  • Washing facilities.
  • Work outdoors upwind of the fume wherever possible.
  • Allow the fume to clear before removing helmet.
  • Check if there is any lead paint on the scrap being cut.
  • Carry out health checks.

Cutting- mist from a lathe.

hand cleaning

  • Put an enclosure around the lathe and extract the air to a safe place.
  • Protective gloves.
  • Use skin-care products.
  • Make sure the extraction works.
  • Allow time for the mist to clear

from the enclosure before opening it.

  • Train workers.
  • Check and maintain fluid quality
  • Test controls as required

by law.

  • Carry out health checks.

Dust from disc cutter on stone worktop.

  • Use an enclosure to extract air to a safe place.
  • High-efficiency vacuum cleaner.
  • Cut and polish worktops inside an enclosure.
  • Vacuum up dust.
  • Test and maintain controls.
  • Carry out health checks.