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Complaints

Important Notice

If you’re unhappy with the service you received from our practice, please fill out the form on this page to let us know.

We have a procedure for handling complaints that follows the NHS guidelines. We aim to resolve most issues quickly and easily, often right away. Our goal is to provide the best service to everyone who visits our practice.

However, we understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and you may have a genuine reason to complain. If that’s the case, we want to resolve the matter as soon as possible and in a friendly manner.

To investigate your complaint, you should do so within 12 months of the event, or as soon as you become aware of the issue. In some cases, we may extend this time limit if needed.

Parking Issues At Bushey Medical Centre

If your complaint is related to the parking issues at Bushey Medical Centre, please note that this is out of our control.  Visit the ‘Parking Issues At Bushey Medical Centre’ page for more information.

Interpreting Service

For patients who don’t speak English as their first language and need assistance with their complaint, we can organise a meeting with the Practice Manager and an Interpreter.

How To Make A Compliment Or Complaint

We value your feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Please reach out to us and share your thoughts on the care and treatment you’ve received.

Receiving compliments and complaints is crucial for improving the quality of healthcare in our Practice. It helps us understand what we’re doing well and where we can make improvements.

We encourage you to share your feelings and experiences with us. If you have a complaint, this page will provide you with more information on what to do, who to contact, and what happens next.

How Do I Raise A Concern / Informal Complaint?

You can start by speaking to any staff member about your complaint. This gives you a chance to address any concerns without going through a formal process.

Most complaints are usually resolved within the practice. If you prefer, you can make your complaint directly to the Operations Manager.

Formal Complaint

What We Ask In Return

We’ll get in touch with you about your complaint within three working days. We’ll discuss the best way to investigate it and the time frame for a reply. We aim to offer an explanation within that time or arrange a meeting with those involved.

Our steps will include:

  • Finding out what happened and what went wrong
  • Inviting you to discuss the problem with those involved, if you wish
  • Apologising if appropriate
  • Identifying how we can prevent the issue from happening again

 

If you prefer not to contact the surgery directly, you can reach out to the NHS Complaints team at:

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

Please state ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line if you’re making a complaint. 

In General

If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Operations Manager or ask the Receptionist for a copy of our Complaints Procedure. We will endeavour to:

  • acknowledge any letter or Complaints Form within 3 working days of receiving it.
  • deal with the matter as promptly as possible – usually within 28 working days – dependent on the nature of the complaint.

Who Can Complain

A complaint may be logged by a current or former patient, or someone chosen by the patient to act on their behalf, with their consent.

Patients over 16 with clear mental capacity usually handle complaints themselves or authorize someone to do it for them.

Children under 16 can also make complaints if they’re capable of doing so.

If a patient can’t make decisions, their representative must show they care about the patient’s well-being and are suitable to act for them. This might be a partner, family member, or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Appropriate Person

In some cases, we have to make sure the representative is the right person to complain.

For instance, if the complaint involves a child, we must ensure there are valid reasons for the representative to complain instead of the child.

If the patient is a child or lacks capacity, we also need to confirm the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.

If we’re not convinced the representative is suitable, we won’t consider the complaint and will explain our decision in writing.

Time Limits

A complaint should be lodged within 12 months, starting from either the incident date or when the complainant became aware of it.

Regulations allow for consideration of complaints beyond this limit if:

  1. The complainant has a valid reason.
  2. It’s still feasible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.

Procedure

We follow a two-stage complaints procedure. We aim to address your complaint promptly. However, if it requires a thorough investigation, we’ll inform you and provide regular updates on our progress.

Stage 1 - Early, Local Resolution

We aim to resolve your complaint within five working days whenever possible. If you’re unhappy with our response, you can request to escalate your complaint to Stage Two.

Stage 2 - Investigation

If you’re not satisfied with our response at Stage One, or if your complaint is complex and needs detailed investigation, we’ll address it at this stage.

We’ll acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and provide our decision as soon as possible. This will typically be within 28 working days, unless there’s a valid reason for needing more time to respond.

Complain To The Ombudsman

If you’re still unhappy after receiving our final decision, you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and offers a free service. It can help resolve your complaint and advise the NHS on how to correct any mistakes.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can consider your complaint. Generally, it won’t investigate complaints that occurred more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Address: Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman Tower 30 Millbank London, SW1P 4QP Phone: 03450154033

More information on the Ombudsman 

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)

If you have concerns or want to make a complaint about the quality of care you receive from the NHS, ICAS can assist you. While you can usually raise concerns with NHS staff like therapists, doctors, nurses, or receptionists, ICAS is available if you’re not satisfied with their response or prefer to talk to someone not directly involved in your care.

ICAS aims to improve your satisfaction and reduce any confusion or anxiety you may have. Their staff act quickly and creatively to support patients, carers, and families in dealing with concerns before they become more serious.

Your Practice’s complaints resolution staff can provide more information about making a complaint and help you contact ICAS if you need assistance from outside the NHS.

For more details, please visit the ICAS website or call them at 03003031660.

Confidentiality

All complaints will be handled with the utmost confidentiality.

If investigating a complaint involves reviewing the patient’s medical records, we’ll inform the patient or their representative if information from those records will be disclosed to anyone outside the Practice or its employees.

We maintain records of all complaints and related correspondence, but these records are kept separate from patients’ medical records.

Statistics And Reporting

The Practice must regularly provide the local primary care organisation with details of the number of complaints received and how they were addressed.

There Are A Number Of Sources Who Can Help You Make Your Decisions And Give Advice

These include:

The Citizens Advice Bureau

  1. Bushey – 8 Rudolph Road, WD23 3DU Tel: 03444111444
  2. Watford – St Marys Churchyard, High Street, WD17 2BE
  3. Borehamwood – 2 Allum Ln, Elstree, Borehamwood WD6 3PJ

NHS Complaints Independent Advocacy Service

Tel: 03003031660 or email via their web-site.

(Includes VoiceAbility)

POhWER (An advocacy service that also provides advocacy under the Care Act)

Tel: 030004562370 or email via their web-site.

Healthwatch Hertfordshire (can direct you to other advocacy services)

Douglas Tilbe House, Hall Grove, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 4PH

Tel: 01707275978

email: info@healthwatchhertfordshire.co.uk

Complaints Form


Privacy Policy

This form collects your name, date of birth, email, other personal information and medical details. This is to confirm you are registered with the practice, to allow the practice team to contact you and also to update your medical records held by the practice and our partners in the NHS. Please read our Privacy Policy to discover how we protect and manage your submitted data.