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Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

Our aim at Lancashire GP is to offer you the very best care and we strive for this in every consultation.

Should you be unhappy about any of the services or care at the Lancashire GP, a complaints procedure has been set up to ensure that all grievances are dealt with rapidly and efficiently for the benefit of all parties concerned.

Complaints may be of a clinical or non-clinical nature.

They may relate to the quality of the care, professional competence, administrative and support services provided.

You will receive acknowledgment of your complaint, before a thorough investigation and a meeting will then be arranged.

We welcome all suggestions of ways to improve our practice and are always keen to do more to make your patient experience a good one. Please do feel that you can contact the practice manager should you have any concerns.

We sincerely hope that following a meeting a resolution can be found.

Complaints should be sent in writing to:

The Practice Manager

14, High Street

Garstang

Preston

PR3 1FA

How to register a complaint

Internal Complaints Procedure

There are two ways in which patients can register a complaint. In all cases, the first point of contact should be the Practice Manager.

Informal Complaint

Patients are free to contact the Practice Manager to register a complaint or discuss any concerns that they have. The Practice Manager will endeavour to rectify any situation to mutual satisfaction and the incident will be recorded in the practice complaints file.

Should informal complaints be directly made to any other members of staff, they will also aim to resolve the issue. All incidents are then reported to the incident to the Practice Manager, who will record them in the practice complaints file. 

Formal Complaint

Should a patient remain unhappy with the outcome of an informal discussion, or feel that their incident requires a more formal investigation, they are welcome to use the practice’s complaints procedure. Our procedure aims to resolve patient’s concerns in a professional, yet friendly way.

  • Patients wishing to issue a formal complaint must contact the Practice Manager.
  • The Practice Manager will record full details of the complaint and attempt to resolve it appropriately.
  • If at this stage the patient does not feel that the issue is adequately resolved, a formal investigation will be arranged.

A formal investigation requires patients to submit their complaint in written form, and address it to the Practice Manager. Please include:

  • A clear description of the complaint
  • The date and time of the incident
  • The names of the people involved

Patients will receive an acknowledgment within 48 hours confirming receipt of the formal written complaint and confirming the facts of the matter.

Should patients not feel that they have received acknowledgment of their complaint within this time frame, they should contact the Practice Manager.

  • Complaints relating to clinical matters will be investigated by the Practice Manager and the Principal Partner of the practice.
  • Administrative complaints will normally be investigated by the Practice Manager. Every effort will be made to complete these investigations within one working week.
Timeframe for a response.

A full response in writing, setting out the conclusion of the investigation and action, if any, taken in respect of it, is to be made within 20 working days on receipt of the complaint, unless the investigation is still in progress, in which case a letter explaining the reasons for the delay, is to be sent to the complainant. Thereafter, the full response to the complaint is to be given to the complainant within 5 working days of a conclusion being reached in respect of the complaint.

A meeting between the parties concerned may need to take place to clarify the nature and detail of the complaint. Such meeting may extend and take place outside the time frame set out in the preceding paragraph but such meetings must take place in privacy and at a mutually convenient time and conform to an agreeable timetable. The nature and outcome of any such meeting and the discussions in those meetings should be recorded.

A register and the records of all complaints should be kept and stored and are subject to regular audit but with regard for patient confidentiality. The register of complaints should include information on whether or not the complaint was upheld, the results of the investigation, the resolution of the complaint, and the action taken.

In the event that this meeting fails to resolve the matter, or if the patient declines the invitation, patients will be referred to an independent authority, for further inquiry.The Practice Manager

External Conciliation

Should an internal investigation fail to achieve a resolution, an external conciliation is offered to all patients.

In this event, the Practice Manager would contact a member of the IDF (Independent Doctors Federation) Council.

To put a complaint in writing to:

IDF CEO
The Medical Society of London
Lettsom House
11 Chandos Street
Marylebone
London
W1G 9EB  

Both parties are required to submit a short statement about the incident. It is recommended that any medical statement should be previously vetted by the appropriate medical indemnity organisation. These statements will be forwarded to a Conciliator.

The Conciliator would arrange to meet both parties,  at which point, both parties will be able to put forward their argument. During these discussions, the experienced Conciliator will explore possible solutions to resolve the problem.

The Conciliator would then issue a report to both parties and a copy would be sent to the independent authority. It will include a summary of the following:

  • The material facts
  • The apparent grounds of difference between the two parties
  • Whether the complaint has been substantiated, upheld, or rejected
  • Proposals for resolving or addressing the complaint, including remedial action recommended.

If the complaint remains unresolved the complainant will be referred to the Independent Sector Complaints Advisory Service (ISCAS) which is an independent body.

An independent external adjudication procedure would be arranged by a principle adjudicator, independently appointed from outside ISCAS membership.

If the complaint is upheld the adjudicator will decide what remedial action, including compensation (if appropriate) is necessary.

In addition, the Code permits (but does not require) the use of mediation as an alternative, where both parties are agreed that this is the preferred format for the resolution of matters between them. It should be emphasised that mediation is only appropriate in cases where both parties wish to use it. By electing for mediation, the option of Independent External Adjudication is removed – whether or not the mediation is concluded.