This procedure sets out RXLive approach to the handling of complaints and is intended as an internal guide that should be made readily available to all staff.
From 1st April 2009, a common approach to the handling of complaints was introduced across health and adult social care. This procedure complies with that approach.
RXLive will take reasonable steps to ensure that clients are aware of:
- The complaints procedure;
- The time limit for resolution;
- How it will be dealt with;
- Who will deal with it;
- Details of the registered manager handling complaints;
- Their right of appeal and the procedure to appeal;
- Further action they can take if not satisfied;
- Details of governing bodies to escalate matter to if not satisfied with response.
RXLive may receive complaints made directly by a client, or (subject to client’s consent) on behalf of a client, or former client, who is receiving or has received services by RXLive. Where the client is incapable of making a complaint, and is also unable to give consent, we will accept a complaint made by a relative or other adult who has interest in the client’s welfare. Period within which complaints can be made the period for making a complaint is normally:
(a) within 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint occurred;
(b) within 12 months from the date on which the event which is the subject of the complaint comes to the complainant’s notice.
RXLive – Quality Management Policies and Procedures:
Complaints should normally be resolved within 6 months. RXLive’s aim is provide a response within 10 working days, following initial internal investigation. The Registered Manager has the discretion to extend the time limits if the complainant has a good reason for not making the complaint sooner, or where it is still possible to properly investigate the complaint despite extended delay. When considering an extension to the time limit it is important that the Registered Manager takes into consideration that the passage of time may prevent an accurate recollection of events by the member of staff concerned or by the person bringing the complaint. The collection of evidence, guidelines or other resources relating to the time when the complaint event arose may also be difficult to establish or obtain. These factors may be considered as suitable reason for declining a time limit extension.
Action upon receipt of a complaint.
- It is always better to try and deal with the complaint at the earliest opportunity and often it can be concluded at that point.
- If it is not possible or the outcome is not satisfactory, the client should be asked to put it in writing. This ensures that each side are well aware of the issues for resolution.
- If the client does refuse to put it in writing, the Registered Manager or authorised representative will put the complaint in writing and provide a chance for the client to review the written record of the complaint, checking that the client is satisfied with the recorded details of the complaint being accurate.
- On receipt of a written complaint an acknowledgement should be sent confirming receipt and saying that a further response will be sent within 10 working days following an investigation of the issues. It will also say who is dealing with it i.e. the Registered Manager.
- If it is not possible to conclude any investigations within the 10 working days, then the client should be updated with the progress and possible time scales.
- A full investigation should take place with written notes and a log of the progress being made.
- It may be that outside sources will need to be contacted and if that is the case then a client consent form will need to be signed to make such a request.
Where a complainant becomes aggressive or, despite effective complaint handling, unreasonable in their promotion of the complaint, some or all of the following formal provisions will apply and will be communicated to the client.
RXLive – Quality Management Policies and Procedures:
- The complaint will be managed by one named individual at senior level who will be the only contact for the client.
- Contact will be limited to one method only (e.g. in written format).
- Place a time limit on each contact.
- The number of contacts in a time period will be restricted.
- A witness will be present for all contacts.
- Repeated complaints about the same which has been resolved, may be refused.
- Only acknowledge correspondence regarding a closed matter, not respond to it.
- Set behaviour standards and expectations.
- Return irrelevant documentation.
- Keep detailed records of all communication.
This will include:
- A clear statement of the issues, investigations and the findings, giving clear evidence-based reasons for decisions if appropriate;
- Where errors have occurred, explain these fully and state what will be done to put these right, or prevent repetition;
- A focus on fair and proportionate outcomes for the client, including any remedial action or compensation;
- A clear statement that the response is the final one, or that further action or reports will be sent later;
- An apology or explanation as appropriate;
- A statement of the right to escalate the complaint, together with the relevant contact detail. It should also advise on the next step in the process if the complainant is still not satisfied. This would normally be an offer of a meeting with the Registered Manager to try further reconciliation;
- If the matter is still not resolved; the complainant can contact the local CCG for RXLive, NHS Sutton CCG, with their complaint;
- Lastly, if the complainant is not satisfied with the response, they can also complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
RXLive will establish an annual complaints report, incorporating a review of complaints received, along with any learning issues or changes to procedures which have arisen. This report is to be made available to any person who requests it, and may form part of the Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme. Confidential data and Personally Identifiable Data (PID) will not be provided in the report so it is kept anonymised. This will include:
- Statistics on the number of complaints received;
- Justified / unjustified analysis;
- Known referrals to the Ombudsman;
- Subject matter / categorisation / care;
- Learning points;
- Methods of complaints management;
- Any changes to procedure, policies or care which have resulted.
All complaints must be treated in the strictest confidence. Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the client’s records, the Manager must inform the client or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than RXLive or an employee thereof prior to providing access. RXLive will keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records must be kept separate from clients’ records.
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