Making a complaint

Who can complain?

Complaints can be made by:   an existing or former patient, someone else with the consent of the patient (the patient's consent must be in writing), or someone such as a close relative if the patient cannot complain or consent, for example if they are very ill or have died.

Should I complain?

You have a right to complain about any aspect of NHS treatment or care which you have received.  Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure.  Complaining is a constructive way of letting those in the Health Service know things are not what they should be. Your views are important. No one who complains will be treated differently or refused any services they would otherwise receive.

NOTE: The NHS complaints procedure does not apply to any treatment you have received privately.

When should I complain?

If you feel that your treatment or care is not of the standard you expect, please let us know as soon as possible.  There is a 12 month time limit for making a complaint.  There is, however, some flexibility, so if your complaint is outside the time limits; it may still be investigated, especially if there is a good reason why you did not complain earlier.

How can I make a complaint? 

There are several different ways you can make a complaint:

  • Talk to a member of staff in the ward or department where you are receiving care
  • Contact the Foundation Trust's customer care team on 01256 486766 or visit their offices at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital or Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester
  • Email: customercare@hhft.nhs.uk
  • Write to the: Chief Executive, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NA

NOTE: If you have special needs or you need an interpreter of any kind, please make this clear in your complaint.  If you need a response in a particular way, for example braille, this should also be made clear.  If you need independent support you can contact the Hampshire Health Complaints Advocacy Service on 01962 440262. www.healthwatchhampshire.co.uk

When will I get a reply?

The first stage of the NHS complaints procedure is known as "Local Resolution".  If your complaint is not resolved on the spot, it will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days of receipt and a full reply should be sent to you normally within 25 working days by the chief executive.

If a full response to your complaint can not be made within 25 working days then you should be contacted and advised of the reason for the delay.

A face to face meeting can be a useful way for us to understand your complaint. You may feel that a meeting with the person you are complaining about would be helpful, or, you might prefer to meet with other senior staff of the Foundation Trust.   A meeting can take place at any time, so even if you do not want a meeting at the beginning of the complaints procedure, for whatever reason, the option will remain open to you.  Taking part in a meeting does not mean that you cannot start, or continue with your complaint or refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.  If you feel a face to face meeting would be helpful, please contact the customer care team on 01256 486766.

What if I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint please let us know.  We will respond to any further questions or concerns you have.  If you remain dissatisfied you can write to the Health Service Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman will decide whether to investigate your complaint and there is no appeal against this decision except through the courts in the form of a judicial review.

You can contact the Ombudsman at the following address:

General Medical Council

If you are thinking about making a complaint about your doctor you should also be aware of the role of the General Medical Council (GMC)

The GMC gives doctors their licence to practice medicines in the UK and keeps an up-to-date register of qualified doctors. The GMC was set up to protect patients and guide doctors, and they take action if they have doubts about whether a doctor should stay on the medical register.

They take action if:

  • The doctor is guilty of ‘serious professional misconduct'
  • The doctor has been convicted of a criminal offence in a British court
  • The doctor’s professional performance is ‘seriously deficient’
  • The doctor is seriously ill and it is affecting his/her ability to practice

Actions that the GMC take range from a warning letter to, in most serious cases, restricting or removing a doctor’s right to practice medicine. The GMC cannot, however, award any form of compensation.

If you think your complaint should be considered by the GMC, please contact the GMC direct at:

  • General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Directorate, St James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FQ
  • Telephone: 0845 3570022
  • Email: practise@gmc-uk.org
  • Website: www.gmc-uk.org

 

 


updated 29 July 2015

 

Customer Care and PALS

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