Qured Complaints Policy 2020/21.
The purpose of the policy is to provide a clear process for handling complaints received by Qured from patients and clients. This policy aims to assist staff in dealing with complaints promptly, consistently and fairly whenever a complaint is received.
The policy will also set out clear differences between a complaint, concern and a comment.
The policy aims to deliver optimum results for patients and staff whenever a complaint is received and investigated.
Dealing with complaints promptly, consistently and fairly
Making sure the complaints process is easily accessible to all
Reviewing complaints and identifying shortcomings to improve the service
Supporting staff in dealing with complaints effectively.
The complaints group will ensure the policy is in effect whenever a complaint is discussed, relevant expertise is also requested dependent on complaint. All staff who work for Qured will be informed of Qured’s complaints policy and required to cooperate in the handling and investigation of a complaint.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction towards a service provider by a patient or carer. Complaints require a formal response to firstly acknowledge and an formal outcome once a full investigation has been conducted.
A concern can be defined as worry regarding a particular issue that can be resolved through further enquiry, reassurance, more information or advice.
Comments can be made in person, in letter, through email or online (review platforms). Comments usually express an opinion (Positive or negative) about the service that can be used as feedback to improve or maintain particular aspects of the service. A formal response is not required when receiving a comment.
Complaints are upheld when substantial evidence supports a claim and identifies a failure in the service provided.
If a number of issues are brought forward in a complaint but one or a few issues are upheld this is referred to as ‘partially upheld’
Where there is little to no evidence of shortcomings in the service provided this is referred to as ‘not upheld’
Procedure for Handling of Complaints:
Who can make a complaint:
A complaint can be made by a patient, relative or carer when dissatisfied with the service provided. A relative or carer can complain on behalf of a patient if;
The patient concerned is under the age of 18
The patient is unable to complain due to physical or mental incapacity
If the patient has granted written consent to another individual to act on their behalf.
First line of resolution;
In the first instance a complaint will be made to a frontline member of staff before escalation to management; an informal response by staff or manager may be required to appease the patient concerned.
Offer support through providing quick solutions in the initial conversation
Listen to a patients concerns and escalate to management if appropriate
Provide appropriate information that the patient may find helpful
If a patient is still unhappy with the service after an attempt of first line resolution, the patient must always be informed of the next steps which would be a formal complaint. The patient will be provided with more information regarding Qured’s complaints process and the clinical governance executive’s email to submit a complaint if necessary.
Once a complaint has been submitted to the clinical governance executive an acknowledgment letter will be sent with 2 working days of receiving the formal complaint. The next steps will be described in the acknowledgement letter.
All complaints will be fully investigated by the Clinical Governance Executive (Hector Pratt).
The complainant will receive a written investigation outcome within 20 working days after the acknowledgement letter or a written explanation as to why the response has been delayed, and when they can expect a response. The patient will be informed an additional 20 working days will be required to continue investigation to provide an outcome.
The formal response to complainant must be;
Made within the agreed time period of 20 days
Inform the patient of the executive teams final decision; uphold, partially uphold or not upheld.
Respond to every point raised, using the original complaint as a guide.
Incorporate any changes you plan on making after investigation
Open and transparent communication is key
Finally, all staff involved in a complaint will be informed of the outcome and advice on preventing recurrence.
If a complaint identifies a serious incident, two separate documents will not be required; A root cause analysis will cover the investigation and this can be shared with the complainant and authorised staff. If the complaint identifies other shortcomings not identified by the RCA, both documents will be required.
Duty of candour
Qured is committed to being open and honest when communicating with patients following adverse events.
Reopening a complaint
If a patient is unhappy with the initial outcome of an investigation by Qured, Qured will reopen the complaint to ensure all claims have been addressed fully and respond with new findings if possible. Qured will always endeavour to resolve complaints and may seek clinical advice or second opinions depending on the circumstances.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
If a patient still remains dissatisfied with the Qured’s investigation and outcome, patients have the right to refer their complaint to the PHSO. PHSO will assess complaints where local resolution has been unsuccessful and decide whether further investigation is necessary.
If the Care Quality Commission wishes to investigate a complaint, Health Technologies Limited t/a Qured will provide adequate facilities for any authorised person to interview, in private, any patient.
Any complaints of unprofessional conduct against a doctor will be referred to the General Medical Council.
Complaints about nursing staff will be referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
A notice will be posted in the waiting rooms and webpage, giving a clear indication to all Patients that should they wish to register a complaint they should in the first instance address it in writing to:
Health Technologies Limited t/a Qured,4th Floor West, 22-25 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DF, England.
The notice will also contain the name, address and telephone number of the Care Quality Commission.
Where a complainant is not satisfied at the conclusion of the complaint process they have several options depending upon the nature of the complaint:
Independent arbitration service (see below).
Where the complaint may relate to a breach of professional standards of conduct, clinical competence or fitness to practise, patients can raise their concerns with the appropriate professional regulator (Doctors – General Medical Council, Nurses – Nursing & Midwifery Council (see below).
Where the complaint relates to a breach of statutory regulations and the organisation is registered with the Care Quality Commission patients can contact the CQC (see below).
Patients retain the option of seeking legal advice relating to a complaint about the service provided by any healthcare provider.
Any complaint proceeding to litigation will be notified to the Care Quality Commission.
Complaints should be made in writing to the Clinical Governance Executive (Hector Pratt)
The Clinical Governance Executive (Hector Pratt) will conduct an investigation and will gather information.
This will lead to a full written report being produced and made available to those concerned.
The investigation will include:
Speaking to all persons concerned
Reviewing records and other documents
Producing a written summary of the facts of the complaint
Producing responses to written complaints
Completing the appropriate records of the complaint
Informing all relevant parties as to the outcome of the complaint and any remedial action.
The Care Quality Commission is the regulator for independent Healthcare. The Care Quality Commission has no statutory powers to investigate any complaints that patients or other members of the public make about independent healthcare services, nor do they have a regulatory role to manage, arbitrate or resolve their complaints, concerns or allegations. However, they will take account of all information that they receive from the public about registered independent providers, or about unregistered providers that they consider should be registered. They assess whether this ‘concerning information’ suggests that:
An offence has been committed as set out in the Health & Social Care Act 2008
A regulation has been breached as set out in the associated regulations, or
The provider has contravened a condition of their registration with us, as set out in their registration certificate.
If they suspect that the provider has committed an offence under the Act or a breach under the regulations, they are required to take action to bring about improvement.
Care Quality Commission
CQC Healthcare Tel: 03000 616161 Citygate Email: email@example.com Gallowgate Web: www.cqc.org.uk Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA
Staff will provide help to any patient or relative of a patient wishing to make a complaint.
The General Medical Council Tel: 0161 923 6602 350 Euston Road Web: www.gmc-uk.org London NW1 3JN
The Nursing & Midwifery Council Tel: 0207 7333 9333 23 Portland Place Web: www.nmc-uk.org London, W1B 1PZ
Independent Arbitration Organisation: Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution International Dispute Resolution Centre 70 Fleet Street London EC4Y
The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations - 2009
PHSO - Principles of Good Complaint Handling - 2009
Department of health - Tackling concerns Locally- 2009
Department of health - Guidance: Listening, Responding, Improving – A guide to better customer care - 2009