Every year, tens of thousands of patients make complaints about the service they’ve received from their GPs. But many of us Brits feel too timid or uncomfortable to press the issue if we believe we’ve been mistreated in some way. So we here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall are going to outline the procedures in this short article in order to advise you how best to go about making a claim against your GP without causing any undue fuss, or making you feel any discomfort or embarrassment. These tips are given for both the private and the non–private healthcare sectors.
GP Complaints in the Private Healthcare Sector
But before we go into the details of making formal complaints out about NHS GPs, let’s just take a quick look at what happens if your complaint is against a private doctor or clinic, like us here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall.
First of all let’s start by saying that we have a clean record on the subject of GP complaints; indeed the private health sector enjoys far less complaints that the NHS sector. They are very few and far between. When they do occur however, the victim should approach the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the private hospital or clinic concerned. If the matter is concerned with malpractice, then your case may be referred to the GMC (General Medical Council). The GMC is the body that is responsible for GP registrations, and in worst case scenarios, are the body the cab strike a doctor off.
Now let’s return to the NHS sector, from where the vast majority of healthcare complaints emanate.
GP Complaints in the Non-Private (NHS) Sector
If you do have a complaint involving an NHS GP, and if you feel up to it, you can face your GP or your GPs clinic directly and make the complaint straight to them. This is particularly the case if you’re willing to deal with your complaint informally. If however, you wish to make a formal complaint, every doctor’s surgery or GP clinic should have a written complaints procedure available. It will normally be found either in the practice’s or hospital’s reception, or maybe on their website, or both.
Details of the NHS complaints procedures and what they cover can be found in the NHS Constitution. For your convenience, here are the pertinent points:
- Every NHS patient has the right to have their complaint handled efficiently, and investigated thoroughly
- You have the right to be made aware of the results of any investigation/complaint
- If you are not entirely satisfied about how your complaint has been handled by the NHS, you have the right to take your complaint further by contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
- You also have the right to ask for a judicial review if you believe you’ve been subjected to an unlawful act or decision undertaken by the NHS
- You also have the right to be financially compensated if you’ve been hurt in some way by the action/inaction of others
Who to Direct Your Complaint to
The people to communicate with if you are making a formal complaint, and you do not wish to deal directly with your GP or his/her clinic, is either NHS England (see email address below) or Clinical Commissioning Groups.
When you get in touch with NHS England by email, the address to use is “firstname.lastname@example.org.” You must be sure to mark your communication for the attention of the complaints manager. You’ll need to ensure you provide them will all of the necessary information, including:
- Your full name and address and a contact phone number if you have one.
- A clear and comprehensive account of the complaint, complete with any relevant times and dates
- The details of any healthcare providers or services that were involved
- Copies of any relevant correspondence you may have
Here at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall we are proud of our clean record but in keeping with best practice, we do we do have a written claims procedure in place, details of which are available from our reception.