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Practice Policies

Blue_Locked_FolderConfidentiality

Data Protection Act

The practice is registered under the Data Protection Act and will act in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.  There are copies of our practice/patient charter displayed in the waiting room

Confidentiality

All practice staff are bound by strict rules of confidentiality.

pad_and_penSuggestions & Complaints

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

The practice has a complaints policy.  In the first instance call the practice manager on 028 9032 6030


 

PRACTICE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

If you have a complaint or are concerned about the Health Service treatment you have received from any of the staff or Doctors working in this practice, please let us know.  We operate a practice complaints procedure as agreed for the Northern Ireland Health and Personal Social Services.  It does not cover services provided under a private agreement between the practice and a patient.

 

How to complain

 

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the people concerned.  If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, let us know as soon as possible, ideally, within a matter of days, this will help us find out what happened more easily.

 

Although you should make a 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 made 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 can consider extending this time limit.

 

All complaints should be made in writing and addressed to Practice Manager or

Dr D O’Hare who is the clinical investigator.  Alternatively if your complaint is regarding or involves Dr D O’Hare, you may address your complaint to the Practice Manager. 

 

Complaints received in a foreign language will be translated to English for Practice use and the reply will be translated back to the patient’s language before sending on to them.  While this is, of necessity, a slower process it will help break the communication barriers that often themselves are the cause of complaints.

 

If your initial complaint is made over the telephone or verbally at the reception desk, you will be asked to put your complaint in writing and address it to the Practice Manager.

 

Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the Practice Manager or/and any of the Doctors in order to discuss your concerns, they 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.

 

Due to new guidelines from the Department of Health, we are required to forward anonymised copies of all correspondence to the Health and Social Care Board for monitoring purposes.  You will therefore be requested to complete a statement for this purpose.

 

What we shall do

 

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 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.

·        All records of complaints will be kept on file in the Practice Manager’s office.

·        A record of suggestions/grumbles etc will be recorded in the diary held at reception and these will be discussed at regular practice meetings.

·        All complaints will be kept separately from the patient’s medical records.

 

 

Complaining on behalf of someone else

 

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 brought by the next of kin.

 

Complaining to your Health and Social Services Board

 

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will make use of our practice complaints procedure.  We believe this will provide 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 your Health and Social Services Board, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation.  You may contact the Board’s Complaints Officer or the Ombudsman:

 

Mr Michael Cruikshanks                                                  The Ombudsman

GP Unit                                                                                 Freepost BEL 1478

Health and Social Care Board,                                        Belfast  BT1 6PR

12-22 Linenhall Street                                                      Freephone: 0800 34 34 24

Belfast BT2 8BS                                                                  ombudsman@ni-ombudsman.org.uk     

Telephone 028 90 321313

 

Complaints made by GPs

 

GP’s are also entitled to complain about a patient if they feel the patient is being unreasonable or their conduct is causing particular difficulties for the practice.  If you are the subject of a complaint we hope that any concern or misunderstanding can be sorted out by talking with the GP or member of staff concerned.

 

All practice staff will endeavour to do their best for you. But they need your help to provide a quality service.

Simple guidelines:-

  1. Please treat your Doctor and their staff as you would expect to be treated by them, with politeness and respect.
  2. Please remember to cancel any appointment when not required, and arrive on time, as this time will be of use to others.
  3. Do not expect a prescription every time you visit the surgery as good advice may be the best treatment.


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