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 like the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.
To have your complaint investigated, you should normally complain within 12 months of the event happening, or as soon as you first become aware of the issue you want to complain about.
The time limit can be extended in special circumstances.
How to make a compliment or complaint
Whether you are happy or unhappy with the care and treatment that you have received, please get in touch and let us know your views.
Receiving compliments and complaints is important to ensuring good quality local healthcare in our Practice – helping us to find out more about what we’re getting right and what we can improve.
We hope this will help you to make your feelings and experiences known to the appropriate people. Should you have a complaint we hope this page will give you more information about what to do, who to contact and what happens next.
How do I raise a concern / informal complaint?
You can speak to any member of staff initially with your complaint. This gives you the opportunity to resolve any concern you may have without it going through a formal process.
Most complaints are best resolved within the practice and these should be made via the Practice Management Team, Cofton Medical Centre, 2 Robinsfield Drive, West Heath, Birmingham B31 4TU
- Completing a complaint form (also available from reception)
- Email the practice management team at: [email protected]
- Requesting a meeting with the practice management team
We have a duty of confidentiality to our patients and will act in strictest confidence. If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person, you must gain their written consent in order for us to discuss the person’s details with you. You can do this by completing this form: Third Party Consent Form
What we will do
We will contact you about your complaint within three working days and offer to discuss with you the best way to investigate it, including the time scales for a reply. We will aim to offer you an explanation within that time frame. Or a meeting with the people involved.
- Find out what happened and what went wrong
- Invite you to discuss the problem with those involved, if you would like this
- Apologise where this is appropriate
- Identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again.
If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact the NHS Complaints team on:
PO Box 16738
If you are making a complaint direct to the NHS Complaints team and not the surgery please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Practice Management Team 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 10 working days – dependent on the nature of the complaint.
Who can complain
- Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
- Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
- Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.
If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.
In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.
- For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
- If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.
If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.
A complaint should normally be made within 12 months, either from the date of the incident or from when the complainant first knew about it.
The regulations state that a responsible body should only consider a complaint after this time limit if:
- the complainant has good reason for doing so, and
- it’s still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.
Dealing with the complaint
Administrative complaints will usually be dealt with by a member of the practice management team. Clinical complaints will usually be dealt with by the GP Partners.
You will receive a written acknowledgement within three working days.
In order to investigate the complaint, it may be necessary for the person carrying out the investigation to obtain more information regarding the complaint. If more information is required, you will be contacted within seven working days.
You will receive a full response to your complaint within 10 working days.
By this stage we hope the problem has been resolved to your satisfaction. However, if this is not the case we will try to suggest other avenues of approach to solve the problem. We can at any time provide you with contact details for the Ombudsman who will carry out an independent review.
Complain to the Ombudsman
If, after receiving our final decision, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.
The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
London SW1P 4QP
Phone: 0345 015 4033
All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
We keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.
Statistics and reporting
The practice must complete an annual submission of the number of complaints received and the categories of complaints to the Health and Social Care Information Centre. You can view our most recent submission for the 2018/19 year here.