Making a Complaint

Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.
 
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this usually helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
 
Within 12 months of the incident.
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in this leaflet.
 
We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at the reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing this covers all the necessary aspects.
 
Send your written complaint to:
 
Dr Asma Siddiqi, Abbey Medical Centre, 85 Abbey Road, London, London, NW8 0AG.

What we do next

We look to settle complaints as soon as possible.
 
We will acknowledge receipt within three working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within ten working days. You may then receive a formal reply in writing or may be invited to meet with the persons concerned to attempt to resolve the issue.
 
If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.
When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you would like to do so.

When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you. 

Where your complaint involves more than one organization we will liaise with that organization so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organization, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.

The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient involved to confirm that they  are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it.

Please ask at reception for the Complaint Form which contains suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.

Where the patient Is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter.

Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.

We may still need to correspond direct with the patient, or may be able to deal direct with the third party, and this depends on the wording of the authority provided.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

You have the right to approach NHS England, with support from the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service:

NHS England
PO Box 16728
Redditch
B97 9PT

Email: nhscommissioningboard@hscic.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (this is charged at local rate call)
Website: www.england.nhs.uk

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

If you require independent, confidential assistance with a Complaint, contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service.  
 
NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is run by VoiceAbility in several areas across England and has a website dedicated to helping you understand what your options are and how to get the best resolution for you.

Website: www.nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org
Email: nhscomplaints@voiceability.org
Telephone: 0300 330 5454
Textphone: 07860 022 939
Fax: 0330 088 3762

Address: VoiceAbility, United House, North  Road, London, N7 9DP

What if I am still not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint you should contact the service directly to see if they can look into the case further.

You also have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. There are time limits for taking a complaint to the Ombudsman, although the Ombudsman can waive them if it is perceived that there is good reason to do so.

You can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033 or phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk. Further information is also available at www.ombudsman.org.uk.

You can write to the Ombudsman at:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
Millbank Tower,
Millbank,
London SW1P 4QP

The Practice Complaints Manager is:

Dr Asma Siddiqi
GP Partner