We aim to provide a competent, caring and comprehensive service that is also personal. We understand that there may be times when a patient is disappointed with the level of service given and would welcome constructive comments as to how we can improve. If you are unhappy with any aspect of our service, we would ask that you make your comments, suggestions, criticism or complaints either in writing or by phone initially to the Practice Manager - Mrs Rhonda Patton.
Complaints should be addressed to Mrs Rhonda Patton or any of the doctors. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Rhonda 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.
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 will consider extending this time limit.
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 in 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 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
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
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. A note signed by the person concerned and witnessed by the patient will be needed. If this is not possible the complaint should be made by the next of kin.
We will try our best to resolve your complaint. If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint you are entitled to ask the NI Commissioner for Complaints (the Ombudsman) to investigate your case. You can contact the Ombudsman by writing to:The NI Commissioner for Complaints33 Wellington PlaceBELFASTBT1 6HN
or by telephoning freephone 0800 343424 or 028 9023 3821
If you do not wish to make your complaint directly to the Practice you may contact the Complaints Officer of the Health & Social Care Board, 12-22 Linenhall Street, Belfast BT2 8BS to act as honest broker 028 95363893.
If you are the subject of a complaint we hope that any concerns can be sorted out, perhaps by meeting either the GP or member of staff concerned. As is your right, it is also their right to bring someone else along to this meeting if it makes them feel more comfortable.