The practice always tries to provide the best service possible but there may be times when you feel this has not happened. The following information explains our in-house procedures to deal with patients’ complaints.
- Firstly we hope most minor problems and queries can be sorted out easily and quickly, preferably at the time they arise and with the person concerned.
- If this is not the case and the patient wishes to make a formal complaint they are advised that they should contact us as soon after the event as possible. We can consider complaints made within 6 months of discovering the problem, provided this is within 12 months of the incident. If it is clearly unreasonable in the circumstances to make a complaint sooner, and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case, we will consider extending this time limit.
- Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to the practice manager Deborah Magill (complaints officer).
- We will acknowledge the complaint within 2 working days.
- An explanation will be provided within 10 working days. If this is not possible we will inform the patient of the reason for delay.
- Alternatively you can request an appointment with the practice manager or one of the Partners to discuss your concerns.
A complaints leaflet is available at reception which sets out the procedure in more detail if you require it. If you feel that the practice has not responded to your complaint or has not handled it to your satisfaction you may contact the complaints officer at the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust for further assistance.
Confidentiality / Data Protection Act
The practice will at all times protect and maintain your medical records both in paper and computer format. Any information given to us is treated in strictest confidence and will be added to your medical records. The practice also conforms to the data protection act. You can request to view your medical records subject to the limitations of the law, which we will advise you of, when you make the request.
Freedom of Information 2000 – Publication Scheme
The practice complies fully with the scheme. Enquiries and requests for information should be directed to the practice manager.
Every effort will be made to ensure that you receive any information which affects your health and the care you are being offered. We have a practice website www.harlandmedicalpractice.co.uk which gives up to the minute information on the practice and links to other services that may be of help to you.
Patient & Client Council
This is an independent voice on health and social care. It provides advice for patients, carers and organisations on all aspects of care and services with the NHS. It works independently to ensure that patients’ views and opinions are heard and can assist you should you wish to make a complaint about your care. Their contact number is 0800917 0222.
The doctors will not accept violent or aggressive behaviour towards them or their staff and this also includes verbal abuse. The doctors may decide to remove you from their list, and you will receive a written explanation on their decision. In extreme cases we may summon the police to remove from the premises if we feel you are posing a threat to our staff of other patients. If you have difficulty in re-registering with another practice you can contact the HSC board. The address and telephone number is on the back of this leaflet.