Complaints Policy and Procedure
A complaint is defined “as any expression of dissatisfaction requiring a formal response”. The company is committed to dealing with complaints in a timely and effective manner. All complaints will be investigated thoroughly to ensure fairness towards the complainant as well as any staff (this includes any self-employed members of staff) that may be involved. The overall aim of the company is to provide patients with a high quality of service and therefore, complaints will be used to review and improve our current standards were appropriate.
Who Can Make a Complaint
We accept complaints from any member of the public who has reason to complain about our services, staff or information. These can be in the form of a verbal complaint raised at a clinic, email or via phone. Formal complaints can be submitted in to our Customer Care Department in writing. Complaints may also be made on behalf of someone else.
We aim to deal with complaints at source as much as possible, so that satisfaction regarding a complaint can be prompt. If this cannot be achieved then a more formal line needs to be taken. Complaints will preferably be accepted in writing or email format so as to allow us to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly, however clinic telephone numbers are provided below.
If a Patient is unhappy with any part of the service a reasonable effort to resolve the complaint should be made by the reception staff. The Clinic Manager should be called if satisfaction cannot be gained in an effort to resolve any issue(s).
A formal written complaint should only be offered if no satisfaction to the problem is evident and the complainant still seeks some form of redress.
The majority of complaints can be managed at source if approached correctly and these will be classed as verbal complaints.
Patients also have the ability to record their satisfaction on an electronic questionnaire post treatment. The following questions will flag to the Clinic Manager or Head Office that the patient is dissatisfied. If the patient selects, Not Worthwhile, an email alert is sent to the Director of Operations and Operations and Compliance Support Manager & GDPR Owner. They will send the details of this patient to the Clinic Manager to investigate. Questions and answers that would alert the company:
- How would you describe the results of the treatment?
- Overall, did you feel you were treated with respect and dignity while you were in the hospital/clinic?
- Will you be recommending the company to your family and friends?
In order for a complaint to be handled by the Customer Care Department, preferably it should be in writing or email format. If the Clinic Manager requires a verbal complaint to be investigated, details of the verbal complaint will be sent via email to the Customer Care Department.
Once the Customer Care Department receives a written complaint confirmation of receipt of the letter will be sent within 2 working days.
A complete reply will be sent within 20 working days or, if there is a further delay, correspondence will be sent to advise the complainant.
Who Deals With the Complaints and What Happens?
Staff or the Manager of the relevant clinic will deal with verbal complaints. If the Clinic Manager is not available, then it is to be dealt with by the next most senior member of staff on site.
The Legal department will deal with all litigious complaints. Once a complaint is handed over to the legal department the file, correspondence and related documents are to be passed to a solicitor and formally handled in the Proprietor’s office.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response received from the Customer Care Department they are entitled to take it further by writing to the CEO.
It is the Clinic Manager’s responsibility to keep abreast of complaints being made about the service provided.
If a complaint is submitted directly to the Customer Care Department a copy will be forwarded to the relevant Clinic Manager who must file it.
Complaint correspondence should be held on site for a period of 3 years and filed according to the months it has been received for ease of reference.
Once the complaint has been dealt with, a summary (log report) will be provided so that staff are aware of any action taken.
If a complaint is received about a member of staff, Doctor or Optometrist an investigation will take place to establish the facts.
Disciplinary action may be taken depending on the outcome of the investigation.
If the person involved is of registered status their regulatory body may be informed dependent upon whether the person has breached any code of professional conduct.
If there are complaints that can be dealt with on site, but need permission or an action to be agreed, authorisation can be gained from the following senior management:
CEO - Mrs Beata McManus
Director of Operations - Mr James Rowley FBDO
In many cases lack of communication cause the problems that arise. It is imperative that Patients are kept informed at all times, in line with Regulation 20 – Duty of Candour. Many situations can be dealt with by apologising to the Patient and, where necessary, contacting Customer Care Department to authorise any relevant actions. Many complaints encountered can be dealt with efficiently and amicably at source.
Where there is a request for compensation, it is necessary to advise that the company does not pay compensation. The company may refund certain costs as a goodwill gesture and therefore patients should retain all receipts.
Subject Access Request Procedure (SAR)
Patients may request a SAR for personal information that the company may hold about an individual. If an individual wishes to exercise their subject access right, the request can be made by them verbally, by email or in writing, this must be sent to the Customer Care Department by the individual, if direct, or by the Clinic if that is where the request was made.
If personal information is being processed, they are entitled to access the following information:
- The reasons why their data is being processed;
- The description of the personal data concerning them;
- Anyone who has received or will receive their personal data; and
- Details of the origin of their data if it was not collected from them.
The Customer Care Department will inform the GDPR Owner of this request.
The SAR will be disclosed within 30 calendar days, the company can extend the deadline by a further two months where the individual’s requests are complex or numerous. If this is done, the organisation must notify the individual of this within a month of receipt of the request, providing its reasons for the delay.
There will be no charge for SAR’s. If the company deems the request (s) to be unfounded or excessive (in particular because of their repetitive character); if so, the company may refuse to act on the request or charge a reasonable fee.
The data subject will be informed via phone/email when their SAR request will arrive.
To contact us by mail please write to:
Customer Relations Officer,
Customer Care Department,
The Ground Floor,
147-157 The Headrow,
To reach us by telephone please call our Complaints Department on 0800 083 0663. Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.
Patients do have the right to inform the relevant Regulatory Body governing each clinic about their complaint.
Care Quality Commission
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 03000 616161
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority
5 Lanyon Place
Belfast BT1 3BT
Tel: 028 9536 1111
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
50 West Nile Street
Tel: 0141 225 6999
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
Rhydycar Business Park
Tel: 0300 062 8163