24-7 Healthcare – Complaints Policy and Procedure – updated 30 June 2023
1. Our Aim
Therefore we aim to ensure that:
- making a compliment or complaint is as easy as possible
- we welcome compliments, feedback and suggestions
- we treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response
- we deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially
- we respond in the right way, for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc.
- we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures
We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally, and dealt with quickly.
Our aims are to:
- resolve informal concerns quickly
- keep matters low-key
- enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred
This policy ensures that we guidelines for dealing with complaints from members of the public about our services, facilities and staff
A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction, however, it is expressed. This would include complaints expressed face to face, via a phone call, in writing, via email or any other method.
All staff should have sufficient knowledge to be able to identify an “expression of dissatisfaction” even when the word “complain” or “complaint” is not used.
We are always glad to hear from people who are satisfied with the services we offer. All compliments are recorded, acknowledged, and a copy is sent to the relevant service manager to provide feedback to the member of staff or service.
24-7 Healthcares’ responsibility will be to:
- acknowledge the formal complaint in writing or by email in the case of receiving an online complaints form;
- respond within a stated period of time;
- deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
- take action where appropriate.
- bring their complaint, in writing (or via online form), to 24-7 Healthcare’s attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising;
- raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff at 24-7 Healthcare or via the complaints form;
- explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date;
- allow 24-7 Healthcare a reasonable time to deal with the matter, and
- recognise that some circumstances may be beyond 24-7 Healthcare’s control.
Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and 24-7 Healthcare maintain confidentiality.
However the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own facts). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.
7. Complaints Procedure:
Written or digital records must be made by 24-7 Healthcare at each stage of the procedure.
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the member of the public should be advised that a formal complaint may be made and the following procedure should be explained to them.
It may sometimes be appropriate for a different member of staff, preferably a member of the Management Team, to make this explanation.
a) A formal complaint can be made either verbally, in writing or via our online complaints form. If verbally, a statement should be taken by a member of the Management Team, staff member or a supervisor.
b) In all cases, the complaint must be passed on to the responsible person. In the event of a complaint about the responsible person the complaint should be passed to the responsible person’s superior, and if the complaint is about the responsible person’s superior this must be passed on to higher management.
c) The responsible person or the responsible person’s superior, depending on the nature of the complaint, must acknowledge the complaint in writing within one week of receiving it.
d) One of the above will investigate the complaint. Any conclusions reached should be discussed with the staff member involved and their Line Manager.
a) If the complainant is not satisfied with the above decision then a higher management meeting will be convened.
b) The higher management will examine the complaint and may wish to carry out further interviews, examine files / notes or system records. They will respond within four weeks in writing.
Their decision will be final.