We aim to provide patients with the best care that we can from all the staff at Pangbourne Medical Practice.
We welcome all feedback from our patients so that we can improve our service to you. We acknowledge that sometimes things can go wrong and this document is to inform you about what can be done in this situation.
If you have a complaint about the service that you have received from us or our staff at the surgery, whether medical or non-medical, then please let us know.
We would like to reassure you that you and your family will not be treated any differently because you have complained and we will do our best to put right anything that has gone wrong.
We have a Practice Complaints Procedure which is part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints.
How to Complain
If you wish to make a complaint you can do this verbally, in writing by post or by filling out an online or paper form.
If you wish to speak to a member of staff about a problem that has arisen please ask at reception or telephone for an appointment to discuss your concerns with one of our Manager, Stephen Wells. He will record the details of your complaint and explain our complaints procedure to you. They will ensure that your concerns are dealt with as swiftly as possible if they cannot be resolved in this interview.
If you would like to complain in writing please address your complaint to Dr Matilda Oppenheimer at Pangbourne Medical Practice.
You can also complain direct to NHS England.
You can receive support and help in dealing with your complaint from PALS and ICAS
See below for details of these organisations.
Who Can Complain?
You can complain on your own behalf and also on behalf of a relative, friend or someone you are caring for. However you must provide the written consent of the person you are complaining for, if the complaint is not about yourself. We fully respect your right to confidentiality and will not discuss your care with anyone without your consent.
In the event of a family complaining on behalf of a deceased relative we will use the GMC guidelines to balance a duty of medical confidentiality to the deceased with an understanding of the need to explain what has happened to the patient’s family, friend or carer.
If your complaint is about a child the complaint must be in the interest of that child and made by someone responsible for the child and depending on the age of the child with their consent if possible.
Time Limits for Making a Complaint
If you choose to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible, ideally within a few days or weeks of the incident. This makes it much easier for us to establish what happened.
If this is not possible you can make a complaint up to 12 months after the incident that gave rise to the complaint, or from when you became aware of the matter. Beyond this timescale it is at the discretion of the practice whether to investigate the matter.
Investigation of Complaint – What We Will Do
Your complaint will be looked into by Dr M Oppenheimer, who is the senior partner, if your complaint concerns a medical matter.
Mr Stephen Wells, Business Manager, will deal with complaints about the administration of the practice. In the event of the complaint involving Dr M Oppenheimer or if she is away from the practice the next most senior partner will look into the complaint.
We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 days of receiving it and make arrangements to look into your complaint and respond to you about it giving an appropriate timescale so that we can respond to you promptly but investigate the matter fully.
We will discuss these arrangements with you to ensure they are acceptable to you and us.
If your complaint is verbal a meeting will be arranged to discuss your complaint and if this does not resolve the issues that you are complaining about you will be asked to put your complaint in writing for further investigation.
If your complaint is written you will receive a letter from the investigating partner in response to your letter. We will endeavour to answer the questions that you raise and explain what happened. Your complaint may be resolved by this letter.
However it may be appropriate at your request or ours to make an appointment to discuss the problem with you further. You may wish to be accompanied by a relative or friend to this appointment.
- We will try to find out what went wrong so that we can give you a full explanation.
- We will try to find out what outcome you would like in response to your complaint.
- We will ensure that you receive an apology where this is appropriate.
- We will try to identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not occur again.
- We will inform you about what you can do if you are not satisfied with the response that we have given you to your complaint.
The time limit set to resolve a complaint is now 6 months but we will endeavour to investigate and resolve complaints as speedily and efficiently as possible and to keep you informed about progress. We will follow up any meetings with a letter outlining the investigation and its findings, the conclusions from the meeting and to outline any actions that the practice is taking as a result of the complaint.
The partners regularly review all the complaints made to the practice so that we can continue to learn from them and improve the quality of care that we offer.
We supply the NHS England local Area Team with an annual anonymised report of all the complaints that the practice receives.
In the event of a complaint that involves other organisations in addition to Pangbourne Medical Practice we will investigate our involvement in the complaint. With your consent we will co-operate and co-ordinate with other organisations concerned to make this process easier for you.
We may contact NHS England Local area team to organise a response on behalf of all the organisations.
This Practice based procedure does not deal with questions of legal liability or compensation, nor does it affect your right to complain further.
If you feel you cannot discuss the complaint with us, or are dissatisfied with our investigation and explanation, then you should contact the Health Service Ombudsman for an independent review. The Ombudsman is independent of the Government and the NHS and is a confidential and free service.
The Ombudsman can be contacted:
Helpline: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 400
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PALS (The Patient Advice & Liaison Service)
Royal Berkshire Hospital
Telephone: 0118 322 8338
PO Box 16738
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday – Fridays 8am-6pm, ex bank holidays)
ICAS (Independent Complaints Advocacy Service):
ICAS is a national service provided on a regional basis and for this area can be contacted on: 01273 229 002