Complaint Policy

The Edinburgh Practice
Complaints Policy

Introduction

The Edinburgh Practice aims to provide a high level of care across all services. The practice is committed to ensuring that those who use its services are readily able to access information about how to make a complaint and that issues raised are dealt with promptly and fairly. We ensure that the care of people who make complaints about our services will not be adversely affected because they have complained. Indeed, information derived from complaints provides an important source of data to help us to make improvements in our service provision. Complaints’ correspondence is stored and recorded separately from clinical records.

The key objectives of this policy are:

  • Each complaint is investigated promptly, fairly and thoroughly.
  • Lessons are identified and action taken when appropriate.
  • Communication with the complainant is timely, suitable, satisfactory and that appropriate remedial actions are taken.
  • Complainants have confidence that their concerns are heard and addressed.

Making a Suggestion

 We have a dedicated Quality Improvement Officer, Ms Pauline Bannerman, to ensure that we continuously focus upon our quality standards.

Should you feel more comfortable suggesting an improvement to our service rather than making a formal complaint, you can do so by emailing us at improvements@edinburghpractice.com. We welcome feedback and suggestions from everyone availing of our services.

Who can Complain?

A complaint may be made by a service user, a person acting on behalf of a service user, or anyone who has been affected by any action/omission/decision of The Edinburgh Practice. Where a complainant is acting on behalf of a service user, written consent must be obtained from the service user before a response can be sent. Where the service user is a child without capacity, a complaint may be made by the parent or guardian. Where the service user has died, the complaint may be made by the named next of kin or by a person nominated by the named next of kin. In other circumstances where the complainant may have difficulty complaining on their own behalf or have other requirements (e.g. vulnerable children and adults, or people with mental health difficulties) management will review each situation in light of current legal requirements and offer help and support to a complainant as appropriate.

How You Can Make a Complaint

 You can complain:

    • In person
    • By telephone
    • Through an advocate or representative
    • Email or Letter

Should a complaint be made orally, we may ask that you please put the complaint in writing for logging purposes. If you are unable to put this in writing, a member of the team may log the complaint on your behalf with the points raised and will provide you with a copy of the complaint to review to ensure all information is accurate.

Responsibility

Our Practice Manager, Ms Kelly Alexander, has overall responsibility for handling complaints made about administrative or operating services at The Edinburgh Practice.

Our Clinical Lead, Dr Julia Hannon, has overall responsibility for handling complaints made about clinical services for adults and Dr Lisa Ahern (Clinical Lead) has responsibility for complaints received in relation to our child services.

We will provide as far as is reasonably practical:

  • any help you need to understand the complaints procedure; or
  • advice on where you may get that help.

How We Handle Complaints

  1. Complaint acknowledgement: We will acknowledge a complaint as soon as possible but certainly within 48 hours and give you the name of the person who will be investigating the complaint. We aim to keep you informed about the progress of the investigation.
  2. Complaint investigation: A member of our senior management team will investigate your complaint. This may involve reviewing relevant files and documents, liaising with staff members and/or requesting further information from you.
  3. Complaint resolution: We aim to have all complaints resolved within 14 days unless we agree a different time scale with you. When we have finished investigating, we will respond to your complaint via email, letter or telephone call. We will provide a summary of:
  • The complaint
  • The complaint investigation and outcome
  • Any action points that we have taken or intend to take forwards in relation to your complaint
  • Our proposals to resolve your complaint

Redress

Should management feel that the complaint is upheld, redress will be offered. In order for redress to be offered, management will make their decision based on the impact that the incident has had on the complainant.

Examples of redress can include:

  • An apology, either written or verbal from the staff member, management team or clinician.
  • A report outlining how we will be improving or developing our policies and/or procedures where the complainant helped bring an issue to our attention.
  • Agreement to review employees and/or clinicians work performance.
  • In exceptional circumstances, financial compensation may be offered at the discretion of the Clinical Director.

Recording and Monitoring Complaints

All complaints will be recorded and kept on encrypted electronic files held by Senior Management. Complaints will be regularly reviewed and monitored.

Time limits 

You should complain as soon as you can after the date on which the event occurred or came to your notice. We are able to investigate and process complaints which are brought to our attention within a 6-month period of the event occurring. We are unable to process complaints which are made outwith this time period.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland 

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. You can submit a complaint to Healthcare Improvement Scotland at any stage, below are the contact details should you wish to contact them:

Programme Manager
Independent Healthcare Services Team
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
Edinburgh
EH12 9EB

Tel: 0131 623 4342 (10am-2pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: his.ihcregulation@nhs.scot

Further information on how to make a complaint to Healthcare Improvement Scotland can be found here: http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/inspecting_and_regulating_care/independent_healthcare/ihc_complaints_procedure.aspx

 

 

                                                                                                            Version 4.0