Dr Skin Clinics strive to provide high quality services that are safe and effective. Should we not meet this, we are committed to resolving issues or concerns about the service to ensure the patient is satisfied. 

We believe that we are able to learn from all complaints and continually improve the quality of the care and service that we deliver. 

This policy outlines the commitment to treat all complaints and concerns about the service provided. 

Information about the complaint process is available to all patients so that they are able to raise any concerns. 

The policy applies to complaints made against services or staff at Dr Skin Clinics and those against independent health practitioners with practice and privileging rights at the location. 

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to: 

  1. Establish a clear process within complaints so that they can be managed and properly investigated in a non-judgemental, appropriate, and timely manner.
  2. To enable staff at Dr Skin Clinics to sympathetically manage complaints at a local level. 
  3. Ensure that patients know how to complain.
  4. Ensure that patients feel confident that their complaint will be dealt with seriously, investigated appropriately and findings will be learned from.
  5. Compliance with this policy will ensure that patients will meet the standards of the;
    1. Regulations of the Healthcare and Social care Act 2008 (regulated activities) Regulations 201
    2. Independent sector code of practice management of patient complaints. Roles and Responsibilities

The manager is responsible for investigating complaints. 

Who Can Make A Complaint?

A complaint can be made by a person who has directly been affected by an omission or action. 

A complaint can be made on behalf of a person following them using the service. 

How Can A Complaint Be Made?

A complaint can be made by: 

  1. By telephone or in person and made verbally. In any case a written record of the complaint that describes the issues requiring investigation must be kept. This must be agreed with the complainant and ideally signed. 
  2. In writing either by email or by letter. This should be addressed to the manager.

Complaints Process

There is a two-stage process: 

Stage 1 - Local Resolution

Complaints of a non-medical nature will be handled in their entirety by the Clinic Manager.

In the case of a treatment-related complaint, the matter will be discussed with the relevant practitioner/s and may require you to attend an additional consultation with that practitioner or an alternative member of the clinic’s team. We will ensure that all complainants receive a written acknowledgement within two working days of receipt of their complaint (unless a full reply can be sent within five working days). A full response will be made within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint, or, where the investigation is still in process, a letter explaining the reason for the delay will be sent to the complainant and a full response made within five days of a conclusion being reached. 

At all stages of the complaints procedure we will endeavour to ensure that the complainant receives written confirmation of the stages of investigation and action taken. The complaints procedure will be brought to the attention of all personnel and they receive training on what constitutes a complaint and the procedures for receiving and dealing with a complaint. Any complaints of a serious nature will be notified to the Care Quality Commission. 

Stage 2 - Independent Review

If the complainant is dissatisfied, they should have the option to escalate their complaint to the Independent complaints Service 

Complaints to the independent complaints service should be in writing within 6 months of the final response letter received at stage 1. 

Recording Complaints

The complaint will be kept on file/ database and maintained to include all details of the investigation and outcome by the manager.

Dr Skin Clinics will hold a comprehensive record of any investigations including correspondence such as emails, letters and telephone discussions with time and date stamps where possible. 

Any actions implemented to improve the service as a consequence of a complaint should be recorded.  

Learning from Complaints

The objective of the complaint’s procedure is not to apportion blame but to investigate the complaint with the aim to satisfy the complainant and learn from lessons for improvements in delivering a safe and responsive service. 

Recommendations made as a result of the investigation or any findings made by the manager should be addressed accordingly.