PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If you have any feedback you would like to give about the service you have received from the optometrists or any member of staff, you can make a suggestion, comment, compliment, complaint, or raise a concern to the practice.
It is always preferable to settle any complaints between the practice and yourself. However, if it cannot be resolved and relates to a NHS eye examination you received, you can take your complaint to NHS Grampian’s Feedback Service. The Feedback Service will deal with the complaint in accordance with NHS complaint handling procedures.
If your complaint relates to glasses or contact lenses you received, this is a private transaction between you and the practice. If unresolved, the independent body Optical Consumer Complaints Service can be contacted to assist in settling complaints about the quality of service received.
How to complain
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible - ideally, within a matter of days - because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint
- within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem, or
- within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident.
Complaints may be addressed to any of the optometrists. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Michael Gibson in order to discuss your concerns. He will explain the complaints procedure to you and will make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
What we shall do
We shall acknowledge and try to resolve your complaint within three working days of receipt of the complaint. A consent form will be sent to you if you are complaining on behalf of someone else.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint in person or over the phone within 3 working days, we will write to you within 20 working days to inform you of the outcome of our investigation. Where this is not possible we will write to you to advise you of this. When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong;
- make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
- make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate; and
- identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn't happen again.
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of clinical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of physical or mental illness) of providing this.
Complaining to the NHS Board
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. This does not affect your right to approach the local NHS Board, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint directly with us. The NHS Board will advise you how they can assist with your complaint. The NHS Grampian Feedback Service can be contacted in writing, by email or by telephone using the contact details below:
NHS Grampian Feedback Service
2 Eday Road
Telephone: 0345 337 6338
Patient Advice and Support Service
Citizens Advice Scotland operates a free and impartial Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) for users of NHS services.
The Patient Advice and Support Service:
- can provide you with information, advice and support if you want to give feedback or comments, or raise concerns or complaints, about healthcare provided by NHS Scotland
- helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient
- works with the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland to improve healthcare provision – work that can be done because of the feedback you provide.
You can access this service from any Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland. Your CAB adviser will refer you to a Patient Adviser if it is appropriate, who can provide specialist help or support regarding the NHS in Scotland.
Details can be found at: http://www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk/ or telephone 0845 330 5012
What if you remain unhappy?
If you remain unhappy following our investigation and response you may seek a review by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. Contact details are as follows
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Phone: 0800 377 7330
Fax: 0800 377 7331