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Hinchley Medical Ltd Complaints Policy

1. Introduction
This document sets out the procedure for managing complaints at Hinchley Medical Ltd. All practitioners are required to operate a complaints procedure in accordance with their Terms of Service. The procedure follows The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) regulations 2009 no. 309.

2. Organisation Complaints Administrator
The Responsible Person, Dr Alireza Salehzadeh, is responsible for managing the procedure for handling complaints and in particular they will:
• Be readily accessible to both the public and personnel;
• Be overall responsible for receiving complaints, taking action to investigate and putting together a response.
• Dr Salehzadeh will take ultimate responsibility for the complaints procedure

3. How can Complaints be made
Complaints can be made in a number of ways within Hinchley Medical Ltd:
• Verbally, via the telephone, to any member of Hinchley Medical.
• In written form or email to Dr Alireza Salehzadeh – by post or email.
These details are included on the organisation’s website which is available for all patients. Managing Complaints members are responsible for reporting all complaints to the responsible person.
It is the duty of the responsible person to:
• Investigate and manage all complaints in accordance with the regulations and contents of this procedure;
• Ensure that all complaints are dealt with within the designated time frames set out in this procedure and following an agreement with the complainant;
• Support other personnel fairly through the complaint process;
• Ensure learning takes place following a complaint’s investigation by drawing up action plans that will lead to changes in practices and/or improvements in healthcare services.

4. What Constitutes a Complaint
A complaint may be about any matter reasonably connected with the exercise of the functions within Hinchley Medical. It may be about the way the practice provides services, where they are provided, or what services are actually provided. It may vary in complexity from being a single issue to a combination of interlinked issues. Our complaints policy will be in line with The NHS Complaints Procedure, which suggests that a complaint should be made as soon as possible after the action giving rise to it. The time limit for making a complaint is within 12 months of the event or within 12 months of the complainant becoming aware of the need to complain. Where complaints are made after the expiry period, the responsible person may decide to investigate it if the complainant had good reasons for not making the complaint within the time and if it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and efficiently. Where the responsible person has decided not to investigate a complaint, a written explanation must be provided to the complainant and they should be advised that they can ask the Private Healthcare Mediation Scheme run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

5. Matters Excluded from the Complaints Process
a) A complaint about the practice made by another medical body, private or NHS, or general practice practitioner
b) A complaint made by an employee or associate about their contract of employment
c) A complaint which is made orally and is resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction by the end of the next working day
d) A complaint which is the same subject matter as that of a complaint that has previously been made and resolved in accordance with c
e) A complaint, the subject matter of which, has previously been investigated under –  the 2004 Regulations in relation to a complaint made under those Regulations before 1st April 2009 ; the 2006 Regulations in relation to a complaint made under those Regulations before 1st April 2009 ; the relevant complaints procedure in relation to a complaint made under such a procedure before 1st April 2009
f) A complaint arising from the Hinchley Medical’s alleged failure to comply with a data subject request under the Data Protection Act 1998 or a request for information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000
g) A complaint in which the complainant has stated in writing that they intend to take legal proceedings
h) A complaint in which the company is taking or is proposing to take disciplinary proceedings in relation to the substance of the complaint against an employee or

6. Who can make a Complaint
In the case of Hinchley Medical, complainants should be existing or former patients of the organisation, or a person who has the consent to act on their behalf. The complaint must be related to services provided by Hinchley Medical or a person providing services on our behalf. At this time it should also be explained to the complainant that if they remain unhappy with the outcome the next step in the complaints process would be to raise their complaint with the Private Healthcare Mediation Scheme run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

7. Patient Confidentiality
The requirement to maintain confidentiality is absolute during the complaints procedure. In the case of a patient who has died or who is incapable, the representative must be a relative or other person, who, in the opinion of the responsible person, has or had a sufficient interest in the patients’ welfare. If it is decided that the representative does not have sufficient interest, then a written response to the complainant is required stating the reason. In the case of a complaint regarding a child, the representative must be a parent, guardian or another adult who has care for that child. When the complaint is made on behalf of the complainant where they are not deceased, incapable or a child, the responsible person will seek written consent from the individual concerned to release confidential information. If consent is refused, the complaint can still be investigated however; confidential information cannot be released to the third party.

8. The Local Resolution Stage
The local resolution stage is the key stage in the complaints procedure. It is extremely important to deal with complaints locally, quickly and effectively, both from a practical point of view, and from the point of view of maintaining the satisfaction of users. The intention of the Local Resolution Stage is that it should be open, fair, flexible and conciliatory.
The complainant should be given the opportunity to understand all the possible options for pursuing a complaint, and the consequences of following any of these. The process should encourage communication on all sides and provide face-to-face contact if required.
A system for accepting and dealing with complaints is in place within Hinchley Medical. A complaint may be made orally, in writing or electronically. Where a complaint is made orally the responsible person should make a written record of the complaint and provide a copy of the record to the complainant.
All complaints will be acknowledged within three working days of receipt. The acknowledgement may be made orally or in writing. At this time the responsible person must offer to discuss with the complainant:
• The manner in which the complaint is to be handled ;
• The response period in which the investigation ( if required) of the complainant is likely to be completed;
• When the response is likely to be sent to the complainant – usually within 28 days of confirmation but may take longer in more complex cases.
If the complainant does not accept the offer of a discussion the responsible person must determine the response period and notify the complainant in writing of that period. Within the response letter, the complainant must be advised of their right to seek an independent review of the complaint.

9. The Independent Review Stage
It is hoped and anticipated that the local resolution stage will provide a satisfactory outcome to the majority of complaints received by Hinchley Medical. If, however, a complainant is still dissatisfied they can then contact the complainant should apply to use the Private Healthcare Mediation Scheme run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) (Appendix A) or report their complaint to the Care Quality Commission.
The Care Quality Commission is the regulator for independent Healthcare. The Care Quality Commission has no statutory powers to investigate any complaints that patients or other members of the public make about independent healthcare services, nor do they have a regulatory role to manage, arbitrate or resolve their complaints, concerns or allegations. However, they will take account of all information that they receive from the public about registered independent providers, or about unregistered providers that they consider should be registered. They assess whether this ‘concerning information’ suggests that:
• An offence has been committed as set out in the Health & Social Care Act 2008
• A regulation has been breached as set out in the associated regulations, or• The provider has contravened a condition of their registration with us, as set out in their registration certificate.
If they suspect that the provider has committed an offence under the Act or a breach under the regulations, they are required to take action to bring about improvement.
Care Quality Commission
Finsbury Tower
103 – 105 Bunhill Row

Appendix A
Private Healthcare Mediation Scheme Rules

1. The Mediation Scheme is a method of resolving complaints or disputes between private healthcare providers and their patients that have become deadlocked.
2. Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially in which a Mediator actively assists parties in working towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute or difference, with the parties in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution.
3. Mediation is voluntary, confidential and ‘without prejudice’ which means nothing said in the Mediation is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.
4. A CEDR Accredited Mediator will work with the parties to try and find an agreed solution to the complaint and the Mediator may propose a solution to the parties in an attempt to help them reach a resolution.
5. Any settlement reached is legally binding once put into writing and signed by the parties. The parties will have a short ‘cooling off’ period after any agreement made orally should they wish to take legal advice before they sign a final document.
6. The Scheme is provided by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) to private healthcare organisations who subscribe to the Scheme. It provides Mediation if requested to do so by a patient who is in dispute with a subscribing company where the parties have not been able to resolve the dispute between themselves through the company’s complaints procedure.
7. The Scheme will normally take five to six weeks from receipt of the correctly completed application form to the closure of the case.8
. CEDR have exclusive rights to appoint or withdraw a Mediator under this Scheme.
9. An application to use the Scheme must be made by the patient on the designated application form which will be accessible on the CEDR website.
10. Upon receipt of a properly completed application form CEDR will aim to appoint the Mediator within 5 working days and will inform the parties accordingly.
The Process
11. CEDR will acknowledge receipt of a new application for mediation within 14 days of receipt.
12. The process begins on the date of the acknowledgment of a valid application from the patient. At the same time the patient’s application form and supporting documents will be forwarded to the private healthcare company who may wish to provide a response.44 (0)20 7520 3800 E:
13. If a response is received, this will be sent to the patient for information only and CEDR will confirm the identity of the Mediator within 7 days.
14. All the documents relating to the case that have been provided by the parties will be provided to the Mediator who will endeavour to conclude the Mediation within 28 days of their appointment.
15. The Mediator will speak to the parties by telephone, Skype, Zoom or communicate in writing (including email) with the parties, either together or individually, to request further information or to explore possible solutions.
16. If the parties do not reach a solution between themselves after discussions with the Conciliator, then they will suggest to the parties recommendations for settlement in writing.
17. If a solution is found or is accepted by the parties as proposed by the Conciliator, then the Mediator will record that solution in writing and send it to the parties (via CEDR) in the form of an Outcome Statement (the Statement), for signature via an online portal. The parties must sign the Statement within 14 days of the date on which the Statement is provided. Any amendment to the Statement at this stage, other than for minor clerical errors, will be regarded as notifying a failure to agree.
18. If the Statement is signed by both parties within the timescale, CEDR will advise the parties accordingly and transmit a copy to both parties. At this point the agreement becomes a binding contract and the parties must then take action to comply with the agreed outcome.
19. No terms of settlement reached will be legally binding unless or until set out in writing in the Statement and signed by or on behalf of each of the Parties.
20. If either party chooses not to sign the Statement within 14 days, it will have no effect on either party and CEDR will confirm the Mediation has ended without resolution.
21. The date on which the Mediation will be deemed to be concluded is the date of the letter from CEDR which confirms the process has ended.

23. Every person involved in the Mediation:
1. 23.1.will keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection with the Mediation, including the terms of any settlement, but not including the fact that the Mediation is to take place or has taken place or where disclosure is required by law, or to implement or to enforce terms of settlement or to notify their insurers, insurance brokers and/or accountants; and
2. 23.2.acknowledges that all such information passing between the Parties, the Mediator and/or CEDR, however communicated, is agreed to be without prejudice to any Party’s legal position and may not be produced as evidence or disclosed to any judge, arbitrator or other decision- maker in any legal or other formal process, except where otherwise disclosable in law.
T: +44 (0)20 752000 W:
24. Where a Party privately discloses to the Mediator or CEDR any information in confidence before, during or after the Mediation, the Mediator or CEDR will not disclose that information to any other Party or person without the consent of the Party disclosing it, unless required by law to make disclosure. The Parties, and each of them, agree, however, that the Mediator may disclose such information to CEDR provided that such disclosure is made by the Mediator and received by CEDR in confidence.
25. The Parties understand that the Mediator and CEDR do not give legal advice and agree that they will not make any claim against the Mediator or CEDR in connection with this Mediation.
26. The Parties will not call the Mediator or any employee or consultant of CEDR as a witness, nor require them to produce in evidence any records or notes relating to the Mediation, in any litigation, arbitration or other formal process arising from or in connection with their dispute and the Mediation; nor will the Mediator nor any CEDR employee or consultant act or agree to act as a witness, expert, arbitrator or consultant in any such process. If any Party does make such an application (as listed above), that Party will fully indemnify the Mediator or the employee or consultant of CEDR in respect of any costs any of them incur in resisting and/or responding to such an application, including reimbursement at the Conciliator’s standard hourly rate for the Conciliator’s time spent in resisting and/or responding to such application.
Legal status and effect of the Mediation
27. The process is governed by the law of England and Wales and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any matters arising out of or in connection with this Agreement and the Mediation.
28. The Mediation Scheme will be provided free of charge to the patient unless otherwise advised at time of application.
29. The costs incurred by the parties in preparation of their claim, including documentation and all other expenses are not recoverable under the Scheme.
30. These Rules may be amended by CEDR from time to time, and current Rules apply to any application on the date of application.

Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
100 St. Churchyard

T:  020 7520 3800
T: +44 (0)20 7520 3800

Registered Charity number 1060369 Registered in England as  Centre for Dispute Resolution  Limited number 2422813