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DORDON & POLESWORTH GROUP PRACTICE
PATIENT COMPLAINTS INFORMATION LEAFLET
Practice Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff members working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of an NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our complaints system meets national criteria.
How To Complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often 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, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
- within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident
All complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager. Complaints may be made in person ask to speak to the Practice Manager; you may be offered an appointment to see her if she is not available at the time, or in writing addressed to the Practice Manager. The Practice Manager will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
Action Upon Receipt Of A Complaint
Verbal complaints will be acknowledged by the Practice Manager at the time of discussion. Written complaints will be acknowledged in writing within three working days, where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable.
The practice aims to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the person/persons involved. When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong;
- make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate;
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again
Review of Practice Complaints
A full review of all complaints is carried out annually to identify any trends or additional actions/learning points.
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 to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.
Where the patient is a child the practice may receive the complaint from:
- Either parent , in the absence of both parents, the guardian who has care of the child
- person authorised by a local authority whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989
Complaining To Ombudsman
We hope that if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. But this does not affect your right to approach the parliamentary and Health Ombudsman, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation. The contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Tel: 0345 015 4033
You may also approach Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS. PALS contact details are:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
Warwickshire Primary Care Trust
Tel: 01926 493 491
REMOVAL OF PATIENTS FROM PRACTICE LIST
The Practice aims to provide the best possible health care for its patients. However there may be circumstances when it would be considered reasonable, or in the best interests of the patient, to remove patients from the list.
This protocol defines the practice guidelines for when it is reasonable to remove a patient from the practice list.
Reasons for removal from Practice List:
- When a patient is physically violent or threatening towards a doctor, a member of the practice staff or other patients on the practice premises.
- Causes physical damage to practice premises or other patient’s property.
- Gives verbal abuse or makes threats towards the doctor, practice staff or other patients
- · Gives racial abuse, orally or physically.
- · Is violent or uses or condones threatening behaviour to doctors (or some other members of the primary health care team) while visiting the patient’s home. Such behaviour may involve the patient, a relative, a household member, or pets (such as unchained dogs)
- · Where a patient fraudulently obtains drugs for non-medical reasons.
- · Deliberately lies to the doctor or other members of the primary health care team e.g. by giving a false name or false medical history) in order to obtain a service or benefit by deception.
- · Attempts to use the doctor to conceal or aid any criminal activity
- · Steals from practice premises.
- · Where a patient has moved out of the designated practice area and failed to register with another GP.
- · Embarkation.
- · Where a patient has moved abroad for a period of 3 months or more.
- · Failure to attend pre-booked appointments.
- · Where a patient fails to attend pre-booked appointments on a number of occasions during a given period.
- · Irretrievable breakdown of Doctor-Patient relationship
- · Where a patient’s behaviour falls outside of that which is normally considered reasonable and leads to an irretrievable breakdown of the doctor-patient relationship.
Dordon & Polesworth Group Practice is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.
There are occasions where there is the potential for abuse of a person placed in a vulnerable position, and conversely false allegations to be made. This can have serious, long-term consequences for all those involved and may not come to light for many years.
This policy is designed to protect both patients and staff from abuse or allegations of abuse and to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examination or consultations.
Clinicians (male and female) should consider whether an intimate or personal examination of the patient( either male or female) is justified, or whether the nature of the consultation poses a risk of misunderstanding. There may be a rae occasion when an independent witness to a consultation might be prudent.
- Ensure that a suitable sign is clearly on display in each consulting or treatment room offering the chaperone service if required.
- The patient must be offered the choice to have a chaperone present in the room during an examination - It may be embarrasing to the patient if a staff member is known to them, so a choice of an alternative staff member may be necessary - the patient can refuse a chaperone, this must be recorded in the patient's medical record.
- The clincian should give the patient a clear explanation of what the examination will involve while the chaperone is present.
- Always adopt a professional and considerate manner - be careful with humour as a way of relaxing a nervous situation as it can easily be misinterpreted.
- Always ensure that the patient is provided with adequate privacy to undress and dress.
This should remove the potential for misunderstanding. However, there will still be times when either the clinician, or the patient, feels uncomfortable, and it would be appropriate to consider using a chaperone. Patients who request a chaperone should never be examined without a chaperone being present. If necessary, where a chaperone is not available, the consultation/examination must be rearranged for a mutually convenient time when a chaperone can be present.
Complaints and claims have not been limited to male doctors with female patients - there are many examples of alleged homosexual assault by female and male doctors. Consideration should also be given to the possibility of a malicious accusation by a patient.
There may be rare occasions when a chaperone is needed for a home visit. The following procedure should be followed.
Who can act as chaperone?
Where the practice determine that non-clinical staff will act in this capacity the patient must agree to the presence of a non-clinician in the examination, and be at ease with this. The staff member should be trained in the procedural aspects of personal examinations, comfortable in acting in the role of chaperone, and be confident in the scope and extent of their role.
- The chaperone should only be present for the examination itself, and most discussion with the patient should take place while the chaperone is not present.
- Patients should be reassured that all practice staff understand their responsibility not to divulge confidential information.
The latest GMC guidelines for intimate examinations can be found by viewing: http://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/intimate-examinations-and-chaperones
- The Clinician will contact reception to request a chaperone.
- The Clinician will record in the notes that the chaperone is present, and identify the chaperone (full name must be documented)
- Where no chaperone is available the examination will not take place.
- The patient should not normally be permitted to dispense with the chaperone once a desire to have one present has been expressed.
- The chaperone will enter the room discreetly and remain in the room until the Clinician has finished the examination.
- The chaperone will normally attend inside the curtain at the head of the couch and watch the procedure.
- To prevent embarrassment, the chaperone should not enter into conversation with the patient or GP unless requested to do so, or make any mention of the consultation afterwards.
- The chaperone will make a record in the patient's notes after examination. The documented notes must give the date, time and state that there were no problems, or give details of any concerns or incidents that occurred.
- The patient can refuse a chaperone, and if so this must be recorded in the patients medical record.
- If the Clinician wishes to conduct an examination with a chaperone present but the patient does not agree to this, the Clinician must clearly explain why they want a chaperone to be present. The clincian ma choose to consider referring the patient to a colleague who would be willing to examine them without a chaperone, as long as the delay would not have an adverse effect on the patients health.
Chaperone present 9NP1
Chaperone Refused 9NP2