Procedure for Complaints
Although we try hard to give a good service, inevitably things sometimes go wrong. We hope you will let us know so that your problem can be sorted out. Often this can be done easily and quickly at the time it happens and with the person concerned. However, sometimes you may wish to make a more formal complaint. When you make a complaint, we aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong;
- make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate;
- wherever possible, put the problem right;
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn't happen again;
- give you the opportunity to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this.
Our complaints procedure is part of the NHS system and meets national requirements.
How to complain
Please write to Mr Colin Rhodes, Complaints Officer. There is a complaint form available, though it is not necessary to use it. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Mr Rhodes in order to discuss your concerns. We may be able to book an interpreter if required.
When writing, it will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about the reason(s) for your complaint.
What will happen next?
We will acknowledge your complaint (within three working days) and then investigate what has happened. We will then aim to respond to you in writing within four weeks of the date that we received your complaint.
Sometimes we may ask you to meet with us, or contact you to find out more information about the circumstances. If you would like to meet to discuss your concerns, please let us know.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we will need to know that you have their permission. You can ask them to complete the section on the complaint form or we will need a note signed by them, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
We would like you to let us know about your complaint as soon as possible - ideally within a matter of days - because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. It may not be possible to investigate your complaint if you do not contact us within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.
Help to complain
If you would like help or advice in making a complaint you may like to contact the Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy (ICA) for Manchester. They offer free, confidential support to anyone wishing to make a complaint about the NHS. You can contact them by phone 0161 214 3904; email advocacyICA@gaddum.co.uk; post Gaddum Centre, 6 Great Jackson Street, Manchester, M15 4AX and view their website.
You may also contact NHS England who are now responsible for the commissioning of GP services. They can be contacted on 0300 311 2233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not satisfied
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint please let us know. If you feel that you cannot approach us or if you are not satisfied with the final outcome of our investigation then you can approach the Health Service Ombudsman and ask them to look into your complaint. The Health Service Ombudsman is responsible for ensuring that NHS complaints are dealt with properly. The Ombudsman will usually investigate a complaint only after it has already been addressed locally.
You can write to “The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP” or telephone on 0345 015 4033 (8.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.)
For more information, please see the Ombudsman's website.