Closed for Staff Training

Please note that on Thursday 6th June our Gander Green Lane branch will be closed from 1.15pm until Friday 7th June at 8am due to a staff training event, however The Knoll branch in Cheam Village will remain open until 6.30pm.

Need help with a non-urgent medical or admin request? Contact us online.

Complaints

Complaints Procedure

In line with NHS policy, we do have an official complaints procedure.

How you make a complaint about your GP changed on 1 July 2023.

From 1 July 2023 the way members of the public make a complaint about primary care services to the commissioner changed.  By primary care services we mean GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacy services.

There are two ways you can make a complaint:

  • You can complain to the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where you received the NHS service Should your feel you have cause to complain about the service you have received from Cheam Family Practice, please contact the Practice Manager, Karen Mayoss, via email on [email protected] letter or telephone for an interview to discuss the matter.
  • You can complain to the commissioner of the service: this is the organisation that paid for the service or care you received, for example NHS England or the Integrated Care Board.

Early discussion can often clear up misunderstandings. We will always take your complaint seriously.

Feedback on services, constructive criticism or compliments can be written, anonymously if you prefer, and put into the prescription box at reception.

The Practice endeavours to give you the best possible service and welcomes suggestions for improving them.

The Practice would like to reassure you that your care will in no way be compromised by raising this issue with us. The Practice welcomes feedback and would not wish patients or carers to feel anxious when they raise concerns with us and by understanding your concerns the Practice will endeavour to make changes where this is appropriate for the benefit of all patients.

Complaints are regarded seriously and are investigated fully and are used as an opportunity for learning and improvement. If a complaint is made, the practice may need to provide information about the patient, and treatment they have received, to insurers or legal advisors

Please note that our practice procedure for dealing with complaints is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation.

We would ask you to note that we do have to respect our duty of confidentiality to our patients. Therefore, the patient’s consent must be obtained if the patient in person does not make a complaint.

The Practice hopes that you will feel able to use our in-house complaints procedure to give us the opportunity to investigate and, if necessary, put right any problem or mistake that you have identified.

We will, of course, carry out a full Investigation of the matter and will offer you the opportunity to have an informal interview to discuss the complaint, investigation and our findings.

The Practice Manager or a Supervisor will contact you to obtain further information about your concerns and to agree with you the way in which the Practice handles your complaint.

In the meantime, further support is available to people with complaints about the NHS from:-

The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
Tel:0300 456 2370

Further information about ICAS can also be found at www.pohwer.net.

Alternatively, you can contact

Patient Advice and Liaison Service at NHS SW London
Tel: 0800 085 3182.

CQC National Customer Service Centre
Tel: 03000 616161.

It is important that we deal with complaints swiftly so your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days.

To have your complaint investigated, you need to 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.

We hope that at the end of our investigation, you will feel satisfied that we have dealt with the complaint thoroughly. However, if you wish to continue with your complaint, we will direct you to the appropriate authorities that will be able to help you.

Interpreting Service

We can arrange for a meeting with the Practice Manager and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.

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 Manager. 

Formal Complaint

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.

You can make your complaint online using our Complaints Form.

If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact 

Telephone: 0800 026 6082

E-mail[email protected]

Writing to us at:  NHS South West London ICB, 120 the Broadway, Wimbledon London SW19 1RH

If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.

In General

If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Practice Manager or ask the Receptionist for a copy of our Complaints Procedure. We will endeavour to:

  1. acknowledge any letter or Complaints Form within 3 working days of receiving it.
  2. deal with the matter as promptly as possible – usually within 20 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.

Appropriate person

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.

Time limits

A complaint must 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.

Procedure

We have a two stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly however if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will notify you and then keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one – Early, local resolution

  • We will try to resolve your complaint within five working days if possible.
  • If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to escalate your complaint to Stage Two.

Stage Two – Investigation

  • We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage One.
  • We also escalate some complaints straight to this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and we will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be no more that 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time to respond.

Take it Further

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.

Address:

The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Citygate
Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3HQ

Phone: 0845 015 4033

www.ombudsman.org.uk

However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.

Other organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services

Further information and guidance from Citizens Advice

Complaints Advocacy Service

POhWER is a charity that provides information, advocacy and independent advice across England.

They offer free direct and local support via Professionals and Volunteers. POhWER reaches individuals struggling with particular challenges in their lives, and help make their voices be heard. POhWER can support and empower you to express your views and concerns and access information and services where needed.

You can contact POhWER on 0300 456 2370 or visit www.pohwer.net.

Confidentiality

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.

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 submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.

Give feedback or make a complaint

You can complain to a member of staff at the NHS service you went to, such as a GP surgery or hospital, or you can complain to the organisation in charge.