Suggestions and Complaints

Suggestions and Helpful Feedback

At Selsey Medical Practice, we make every effort to provide the best service possible to our patients. In order to help us achieve this, we welcome your feedback - both positive and critical, so that we can identify successful practice and address any problems.

If you have some suggestions for improvements or wish to share a positive experience you can send them to us in writing or email. Alternatively, you can submit them to our Patient Group, who coordinate feedback and work closely with us to enhance the care we provide here in Selsey. Their webpage is here. 

The Patient Group do not handle complaints about the Practice. Details about our complaints process are explained below.

Complaints

We are aware that things sometimes 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.

Most issues can usually be resolved without you having to make a “formal complaint”. We encourage you to have an informal chat with your doctor or the member of staff involved first - very often a problem can be addressed, or a misunderstanding can be cleared up straight away.

A verbal or written complaint takes time and minor issues are often resolved more quickly if you speak to us directly. If this does not resolve the situation, please ask to speak with our Complaints Manager as soon as possible. They will listen to your concerns and offer you further advice on our complaints procedure.

Verbal and Written Complaints

Having spoken to the Complaints Manager, if you wish to make a “formal” complaint, you have two options; you may complain verbally or in writing. 

If you wish to complain verbally, an appointment will be made for you to meet a senior member of the team.

If you wish to complain in writing, the best way is to submit an outline of your complaint using our Online Complaints Form. Alternatively, you can download a PDF form here or collect a paper version from Reception. You can send your written complaint in by email, post or deliver by hand.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days of it arriving and we will offer you the opportunity to discuss your complaint with us.

We will provide you with updates during our investigation of your complaint. We aim to resolve all complaints and provide a final formal response within forty days (explaining the outcome and any actions to be taken as a result), although liaison with other service providers may delay the process.

Further information on the NHS Complaints Process, and the legislation governing it, can be found on the NHS website.

Making a Complaint on Behalf of Someone Else

Medical records are protected under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and we strictly adhere with patient confidentiality.

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we need to know that you have their permission to do so. Written consent, signed by the patient (outlining the nature of the request) will be required unless they are incapable (e.g. due to illness) or you have a 'Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney'.

Healthwatch

Healthwatch West Sussex, as part of the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS), provides a free and independent health complaints advocacy service, which helps patients explore options for getting their voice heard when they feel something has gone wrong with their health service.

Their advocates can provide practical assistance, ranging from help with writing a complaint letter, attending a resolution meeting, and putting your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.

Healthwatch West Sussex can also work with the us and other providers to make sure learning from complaints helps to improve services for those who need them now and in the future.

For more information, visit their website here.

PALS

As a patient, relative or carer, you may not always know where to go for help, information, advice or support. It can be worrying and confusing when you, or someone you know, is unwell. This is where the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help.

PALS is an independent and confidential service for anyone who would like advice, information and help, or who may have a concern about the care provided by Western Sussex Hospitals and other Health providers in West Sussex.

Most concerns can be dealt with quickly by discussing them with the health staff treating you. However, there are times when you need to speak to someone who can act independently on your behalf. 

PALS will:

  • Help sort out any concerns or queries you may have about your care by working with you and your health care professionals.
  • Provide information about local health and health services.
  • Provide information about voluntary organisations and support groups.
  • Tell you about the formal NHS complaints procedure and give you advice on how to make a complaint.
  • Make sure your experience with the NHS is as easy and problem-free as possible.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to give your views on local services and use your suggestions on how these can be improved.

PALS cannot: 

  • Act on any information given unless we have consent from the patient or legal guardian.
  • Deal with formal complaints, but we will give information on services that can help.
  • Give clinical advice.
  • Act as an advocate, although we can help find services that may be able to assist you.

Contact PALS:

Telephone PALS: 01903 285032 (09:00 to 16:30, Monday to Friday)

Email PALS: PALSWorthing@wsht.nhs.uk

Write to PALS:

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

Worthing Hospital

Lyndhurst Road

Worthing

BN11 2DH

Sometimes, PALS staff will be dealing with other clients and it may be necessary for you to leave a short message on the answer phone. They aim to get back to clients within one working day.

Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled your complaint, you can approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Before referring any complaint to the Ombudsman, you must have followed the NHS Complaints Procedure and received a final formal response from the surgery. The Ombudsman will need a copy of this in writing.

The Ombudsman will not usually look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, or if you first became aware of it more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

For more information, visit their website

Telephone the Ombudsman: 0345 015 4033 (08:30 to 17:30, Monday to Friday 

Email the Ombudsman: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk