Mr X made a complaint against his practice and the hospital about the care and treatment he received.
How the compliant was handled
The practice did not address his complaint properly, which included failing to provide a timely and full response to all his questions.
They did not have a discussion with him to talk about how the complaint would be handled, who would be involved, negotiate a timescale within which a response would be forthcoming, or establish what outcome he was looking for – this is called the planning stage.
They also failed to inform him at any stage that he could contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service if he needed help with his complaint.
The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 state in Section 9.1(b) that:
If it appears to the first body that the complaint contains material which, if it had been sent to another responsible body, would be a complaint& which would fail to be handled in accordance with these Regulations by the second body” then (9.2) “the first body and the second body must co-operate for the purpose of co-ordinating the handling of the complaint and ensuring the complainant receives a co-ordinated response to the complaint.
The practice overlooked this at the planning stage when the complaint was first made, when they should have discussed the patient’s wishes with regards to what he could expect from the investigation. Therefore they missed an opportunity to obtain comments from the hospital departments involved.
They also failed to provide him with information about the next stage of the complaint process should he remain unhappy with the outcome of local resolution. This meant that it was not clear that local resolution had ended and he did not know where he could take his complaint next.