Complaints & Compliments Procedure

At the Downland Practice we always aim to give the best service possible, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. This page explains what to do if you have a complaint about the services we provide for you.

Our practice procedure is to resolve all complaints locally within the practice. Its aim is to allow us to look into and, if necessary, put right any problems that may have arisen or mistakes that may have been made. Complaints should be made either within 12 months from the date of the event or within 12 months of you realising you have something to complain about.

If you wish to make a complaint, please contact our practice manager, either by telephone or email to: admin.downland@nhs.net. Contacting us by email is the fastest way for us to process your complaint. Please be sure to include all points you want investigated as part of the complaint as it will not be possible to introduce new issues at a later date as part of the same complaint. Please note we can only accept complaints from patients themselves, or representatives we have recorded on our system as us having permission to speak to us. This is necessary in accordance with current data protection laws.

We think it is important to deal with complaints swiftly, so we will acknowledge a written complaint within 3 working days. We will endeavour to respond to your complaint with a full response within one month. If you have not heard from us please ring us to check on the progress of your complaint.

If you are not happy with the response we will ask you how you wish to procceed, for example, this could be in the form of a meeting with relevant personnel in the practice or a further written response. If you opt for a meeting you are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you. We will also agree with you an appropriate timescale to resolve your complaint. This will depend on the complexity of your complaint and the number of people or organisations involved.

Please note that we have a strict duty of confidentiality to all our patients. It is possible to make a complaint on behalf of another person, but the patient’s written consent will be necessary if a complaint is not made by a patient in person.

Once we have fully investigated your complaint we will write to you with the findings and, where appropriate, the action that has been taken within the practice to prevent a reoccurrence of the issue and confirm that from the practice point of view the complaint is now regarded as closed.

If you feel we have not resolved your complaint satisfactory you may wish to contact the NHS England:

Post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT

Email: England.contactus@nhs.net

Tel: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm)

You can also contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group – the doctors, nurses and NHS staff who plan and fund local health services.

If you would like to give feedback or raise your concerns informally please call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service:

Tel: 01753 636808

Write to:

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)
South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit
King Edward VII Hospital, First Floor
St Leonards Road
Windsor SL4 3DP

Email: cscsu.palscomplaints@nhs.net

If you would like to make a complaint relating to South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit write to:

Complaints Manager at Priory Road Medical Centre
Priory Road
Park South
Swindon
SN3 2EZ

Tel: 0300 200 8844

If after this you still feel that we have not addressed your complaint fully you will need to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at:

Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Tel: 0345 0154033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

If you need independent advocacy to support you with making a healthcare complaint contact SEAP on 0300 343 5731 or through the website www.seap.org.uk. Advocacy services are confidential and provided free of charge.

If you have a complaint about the NHS generally, including not getting appointments when you want them, please raise this with your MP. Funding constraints limit the number of appointments we offer. As a practice, we offer more appointments than guidelines state, and can only offer even more by increased funding to pay for additional Doctors, Nurses and support staff.