Overview of the Complaints Process
Please see if you can resolve your issue with practice informally (practice to resolve within 24 hours). Please speak to any member of staff over the telephone or face to face.
If you are unable to obtain satisfaction following an informal conversation with a member of practice staff, or if you prefer not to discuss the issue with us verbally, then you can proceed to making a formal complaint. You can do this by completing the attached form or by emailing or writing to the Practice Manager.
You can complain directly to the Practice or alternatively to NHS England, although there are some exclusions and time limits.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days.
We will investigate your complaint as quickly as possible and give you the outcome in writing, usually within 10 working days. If our investigation is going to take longer than this, we will keep you informed of the timescale in which you can expect us to respond to you.
If you are unhappy with the outcome you can refer your complaint to a higher authority.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or staff working at Victoria Park Medical Centre, you are entitled to ask for an explanation. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints.
We try to distinguish between ‘grumbles and complaints’. Our receptionists and secretarial staff can normally deal with grumbles and other minor matters quickly and efficiently, often at the time they arise.
If you have a complaint about our services we will try to resolve this with you in the practice. The Practice Manager is the staff member nominated to handle complaints. Arrangements are in place to handle any complaints that are received in their absence.
In the first place, the practice would welcome the opportunity to try and resolve your complaint. Under local resolution you are able to complain to the organisation responsible for commissioning the services provided by the practice. This is NHS England.
If you complain about the practice to NHS England, there are two alternative options:
NHS England decides that it can handle the complaint. NHS England must seek your consent to send the details of your complaint to the practice. This is to enable them to obtain any relevant information from the practice.
NHS England may consider that it is more appropriate for the practice to answer the complaint, in which case it must seek your consent to ask the practice to investigate and respond.
Important: You must choose at the outset whether to make your complaint to the practice or to NHS England. If you make your initial complaint to the practice and do not agree with our response you cannot then seek a review from NHS England. You do have the right to refer your complaint to the Ombudsman.
How to complain
You can complain in 2 ways:
- Verbally – face to face or by telephone
- In writing to the Practice Manager
A complaint form is included at the end of this information leaflet. If you are complaining in writing, please feel free to use the form. Alternatively, you may write your own letter or send an email.
Oral complaints resolved within 24 hours
It may be possible to resolve a simple oral complaint within 24 hours and wherever possible the practice will seek to do this for you. Complaints dealt with in this way fall outside the regulations.
All other complaints
All other complaints are governed by the regulations and will result in a formal written response being made to you.
If you require any help to make your complaint, the practice can assist you with this. For further information about this, contact the Practice Manager.
Complaining on behalf of somebody else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of patient confidentiality and data protection. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so. A signed note by the person concerned will be needed.
In certain circumstances, the regulations impose a duty upon the practice to satisfy us that the representative is an appropriate person to make a complaint.
The Complaints Procedure excludes:
- Complaints that were first made orally and which were resolved to the complainants satisfaction within one working day
- Complaints about the same subject matter as a complaint that has previously been made and resolved
- Complaints alleging failure by the practice to comply with a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
A complaint should be made within 12 months from the date on which the matter occurred or from when the matter came to the attention of the complainant.
A complaint may be considered outside the time limit if the complainant has good reason for not making the complaint within the limit. The practice will also consider whether it is still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively.
How will we handle your complaint?
- We will record the date we received your complaint and acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days
- We will offer you the opportunity to discuss your complaint
- You complaint will be promptly investigated
- We will advise you of the outcome of the investigation in writing
- We will take any necessary action in light of the outcome of the complaint
During the complaints process you will be treated with respect and courtesy and if required we will help you so far is reasonably practical to understand our procedures and advise on where you may be able to obtain assistance.
If you are not satisfied with our response you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (you must do this within 12 months of the completion of the local resolution). The Ombudsman can also consider complaints about the administration of the complaints procedure itself.
Useful contacts and websites
The Practice Manager
Victoria Park Medical Centre
Victoria Park Drive
Tel: 01278 437100
Fax: 01278 437103
You can complain or give feedback:
By post to:
PO Box 16738
By email to: [email protected]
If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
By telephone: 0300 311 22 33
Our opening hours are: 8AM to 6PM Monday to Friday, except Wednesdays when we open at the later time of 9.30AM. We are closed on bank holidays.
If you need advice, call 0345 015 4033. Lines are open 8.30AM – 5.30PM, Monday to Friday. Calls are charged at local or national rates.
COVID-19 and your Information
(Updated on 8th April 2020)
Supplementary privacy notice on Covid-19 for Patients
This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice which is available on our website.
The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.
Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak. Using this law the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms-Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data. Further information is available on gov.uk here and some FAQs on this law are available here.
During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes National Data Opt-Outs. However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply. It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access Requests (SARs), Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) and new opt out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.
In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient information included health and care records with clinical and non-clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text message or email.
During this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.
We will also be required to share personal confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak. Further information about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the Covid-19 response is here.
NHS England and Improvement and the NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to information the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patient themselves. All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.
In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you. Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.
You can view our privacy notices here:
All GP practices are required to declare the mean net earnings (eg. Average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice. This is required in the interests of the greater public accountability recognising GP pay is ultimately funded from tax paid by the public.
The average pay for GPs working at Victoria Park Medical Centre in the last financial year was £26,207 before tax and national insurance. This is for 1 full time GP, 2 part time GP’s and 3 locum GP’s (who worked in the practice for more than six months).
Summary Care Record/Opt Out Form
Your Summary Care Record will contain important information about any medicines you are taking, allergies you suffer from and any bad reactions to medicines that you have had.
Giving healthcare staff access to this information can prevent mistakes being made when caring for you in an emergency or when your GP practice is closed.
Your Summary Care Record will also include your name, address, date of birth and your unique NHS Number to help identify you correctly.
You may want to add other details about your care to your Summary Care Record. This will only happen if you ask for the information to be included. You should discuss your wishes with the healthcare staff treating you.
Click here to view a leaflet containing more information.
You can choose not to have a Summary Care Record. You need to let your GP practice know by filling in and returning an opt-out form.
Click here to download an opt-out form. Alternatively, you can fill in the online opt-out form below.