They needed to point out that a significant number of complaints which are referred to them are either not made appropriately (in writing) or are made prematurely (before local resolution is exhausted). When a referral to the Ombudsman is made prematurely it tends to indicate that the complaint is not being addressed either adequately or in a timely fashion by the body being complained about.
We agreed to highlight a number of key points with practices in the form of ‘bite-sized’ articles to help you handle complaints – this being the first of five.
- Do you have information readily accessible for people who want to make a complaint?
- Are complaints leaflets and posters on display?
- If a response is likely to be delayed, do you always keep the complainant informed?
- Do you understand and make use of the Ombudsman’s ‘Principles for Remedy’?
These points, and more, will be discussed in detail in further articles in the GP bulletin. In the meantime, if you need help or advice, please contact the Customer Services Team. Don’t forget that the team is always happy to cast an eye over a draft response letter before it is sent: