Complaints

Want to make a complaint?

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To pursue a complaint please see the information below.

 

How to complain


We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, if possible, at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, let us know as soon as possible and in writing - ideally, within a matter of days - this will help us to find out what happened more easily.

Although you should make your complaint as soon as possible after the event we can consider complaints made within six months of the date of discovering the problem, provided this is within twelve months of the incident. If it is clearly unreasonable in the circumstances to make a complaint earlier and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case we can consider extending this time limit.

Complaints should be addressed to Mrs Wendy McCluskey, Practice Manager. Alternatively, you may contact Mrs McCluskey by telephone 028 91 638700, in order to discuss your concerns. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will greatly assist us if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.


What we shall do


We shall acknowledge your complaint, normally within two working days, and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with those involved. In investigating your complaint, we shall aim to

• find out what happened and what, if anything, went wrong;
• enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
• ensure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate; and
• if we identify a problem we will try to make sure it does not happen again.


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 have to know that you have their permission. We would require a written statement from the patient allowing their medical information and care to be discussed with the complainant and also stating their wish to make a complaint.


We hope that if you have a problem you will make use of our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will provide the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice.

Please note that the Patient and Client Council (PCC) is available to assist complainants and provide advice and support through the HSC Complaints Procedure. They have local offices in Ballymena, Craigavon and Omagh with its HQ at 1st Floor Ormeau Baths, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HS – email info.pcc@hscni.net or Freephone 0800 917 0222.

If you remain unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) within six months. The Ombudsman will look at your complaint and decide whether he should investigate it. Contact details for the Ombudsman are as follows:-

The NI Ombudsman
Progressive House
33 Wellington Place
Belfast
BT1 6HN
Telephone: 0800 343424
Email: nipso@nipso.org.uk
www.nipso.org.uk


In compliance with the standards and guidelines in the new HSC Complaints Procedure which came into effect on the 1st April 2009 we are required to inform you that anonymised copies of written complaints and their responses will be forwarded to the HSCB for monitoring purposes.


If you require or would like help or advice in making your complaint you can contact the Health & Social Services Council. Their address and phone are as follows -

Chief Officer
Patient / Client Council
19 Bedford Street
BELFAST, BT2 7EJ.

Telephone No. 02890 321230

Or

Complaints Officer
HSCB
Directorate of Integrated Care
12-22 Linenhall Street
BELFAST, BT2 8BS

Telephone No: 02890 553751


Complaints made by GPs


GPs are also entitled to complain about a patient if they feel that the patient is being unreasonable or their conduct is causing particular difficulties for the practice. If you are the subject of a complaint we hope however that any concern or misunderstanding can be sorted out by you talking with the GP or member of staff concerned.