Comments and complaints revolve around the logbook. Whenever any feedback is received in this way it is recorded in the book. The complainant will be seen immediately by the practice manager, who is the nominated member of staff to deal with front line complaints, and has been on an approved training course for dealing with complaints. If it is deemed appropriate to investigate the complaint in the surgery, a meeting is arranged within 1 week of the complaint. The patient is told that he or she can bring a friend or relative to this meeting.
If the complaint cannot be dealt with in the practice then the patient is given the address of the Health Authority, which is the appropriate alternative body to complain to. After 1 week , an informal meeting is held, which gives a detailed explanation of the events leading up to the complaint, and if needed an apology is made at this stage. Afterwards, the patient is asked if they are happy that the matter has been resolved. If not the patient is informed of their right to take things further, and the address of the Health Authority is given. The results of this meeting are recorded in the log, and any implications raised by the complaint are fed back to the team for further action. The existence of a comments and complaints procedure is publicised both on the protext VDU system and as a poster in the waiting area.
There is also a section in the practice leaflet. Patients are told of the comments and complaints procedure. They are invited to make comments, criticisms or complaints to the practice manager, and are given an information sheet with a comments/complaint form.