Last reviewed: December 2020
Everyone has the right to expect a positive experience and a good treatment outcome. In the event of concern or complaint, patients have a right to be listened to and to be treated with respect. We manage complaints professionally so our patients’ concerns are dealt with appropriately and resolved as quickly as possible.
Good complaint handling matters because it is an important way of ensuring our patients receive the service they are entitled to expect. We recognise that complaints are a valuable source of feedback; they provide an audit trail and can be an early warning of failures in service delivery. When handled well, complaints provide an opportunity to improve service and reputation.
Aims and objectives
- We aim to provide a service that meets the needs of our patients and we strive for the highest possible standard of care;
- We welcome suggestions from patients, our practitioners and staff about the safety and quality of service, treatment and care we provide;
- We are committed to an effective and fair complaints system; and
- We support a culture of openness and willingness to learn from incidents, including complaints.
Information is provided, about the complaints policy and external complaints bodies that patients can go to with a complaint, in a variety of ways, including;
- On our website;
- Through our patient feedback questionnaire;
- Publicity about the service;
- Information in each clinic’s reception;
- Patient follow up emails requesting feedback reviews;
- By clinicians and staff inviting feedback and comments.
If you have a concern or wish to make a complaint
Please advise us as soon as possible and an appointment will be made for you to be seen. It may be possible to discuss over the phone, or by email, if your concern is not related to a treatment outcome.
If your concern is related to a treatment outcome, we will need to see you in order to assess and document for the medical record.
- We will listen to your views on your experience and concerns.
- We will document your views and concerns in a complaints form and make a note on your medical record. We will confirm with you that these records reflect your views and concerns accurately.
- We will treat you with respect, sensitivity and maintain confidentiality.
- All complaints are handled without prejudice or assumptions about how minor or serious.
- The emphasis will be on identifying the problem and how we might resolve the problem.
- We will establish what kind of resolution you expect.
- If possible, your practitioner will provide you with an explanation of what has happened, based on the known facts.
- If appropriate, your practitioner will provide you with support, advice and/or propose a management plan depending on the assessment and diagnosis of the concern presented.
- You may request a copy of your medical record and report should you wish to seek a second opinion.
Practitioners and staff refer complaints to the Clinic Manager if:
- After attempting to resolve the complaint, they do not feel confident in dealing with the complainant; or
- The outcome you are seeking is beyond the scope of their responsibilities; or
- They or you believe the matter should be brought to the attention of someone with more authority.
You will be provided with the contact details of the Clinic Manager referred to and they will acknowledge your complaint within two working days from receipt of the complaint.
The Clinic Manager coordinates resolution of formal complaints in close liaison with the patient, treating practitioner and other staff who are directly involved.
The Clinic Manager carries out investigations of complaints to identify what happened, the underlying causes of the complaint and preventative strategies.
Information is gathered from:
- Talking to practitioners and staff directly involved.
- Factual written reports provided by staff involved in the incident.
- Listening to the complainant’s views on their experience and concerns.
- Establishing what kind of resolution is expected.
- Reviewing medical records and other records; and creating a coherent timeline of treatment episodes, reviews and communications.
- Gathering and reviewing any supporting documents and records.
- Reviewing relevant policies, standards or guidelines.
We aim to have fully investigated each complaint within twenty working days of receipt of the complaint. Where this is not possible, the Clinic Manager will send you a letter explaining the reason for the delay and a full response should be received within five days of the Clinic Manager reaching a conclusion.
At the conclusion of an inquiry or investigation, the complainant and relevant practitioners and staff are provided with all established facts, the causal factors contributing to the incident and any recommendations to improve the service, and the reasons for these decisions.
Escalation of complaints
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint and wish to request an internal review, this must be done within twenty working days of the date of our Clinic Manager’s response.
The request should be made in writing to the Managing Director who will consider the complaint and undertake a review of all aspects of the investigation at clinic level. The Managing Director will then either confirm he decisions and actions of the Clinic Manager or off an alternative resolution.
Please address your request to:
47 Dartford Road
If, following our internal review, you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you will be advised to contact the Cosmetic Redress Scheme. This is government authorised redress scheme. You can find further details here: https://www.cosmeticredress.co.uk/
Records and privacy
- We retain copies of all formal and informal complaints and patient feedback.
- All interactions with the complainant, including face to face, telephone, email or text are documented in the patient record.
- Personal information on individual complaints is kept confidential and is only made available to those who need it to deal with the complaint.
- Complainants are given notice about how their personal information is likely to be used during the investigation of a complaint.
- Individual complaints files are kept in a secure filing cabinet and in a restricted access section of the computer system’s file server.
- Patients are provided with access to their medical records in accordance with our Confidentiality Policy. Others requesting access to a patients’ medical records as part of resolving a complaint are provided with access only if the patient has provided authorization (in accordance with our confidentiality policy).
- Formal complaints are acknowledged in writing or in person within two working days.
- The acknowledgment provides contact details for the Clinic Manager who is handling the complaint, how the complaint will be dealt with and how long it is expected to take.
- If a complaint raises issues that require notification or consultation with an external body, the notification or consultation will occur within three working days of those issues being identified.
- Formal complaints are investigated and resolved within twenty working days.
- If the complaint is not resolved within twenty days, the complainant, practitioners and staff who are directly involved in the complaint will be provided with an update.
The process of resolving the problem will include:
- An expression of regret to the patient for any harm or distress suffered;
- An explanation or information about what is known, without speculating or blaming others;
- Considering the problem and the outcome the patient is seeking and proposing a solution; and confirming that the patient is satisfied with the proposed solution.