Concerns & Complaints Policy

How we deal with your complaints

You should feel free to speak to any member of staff if you have a concern while you are with us, so we can resolve this as soon as possible. If you would rather speak to a manager, the nurse in charge, or your Consultant to discuss your concerns, this can be arranged. If we can’t resolve your concern immediately, we’ll follow our written complaints procedure and provide a written response. 

Some patients prefer to raise a concern or complaint after leaving their appointment. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to investigate the facts, ideally complaints should be made within six months.

To manage complaints in a thorough and professional way, we follow the industry standard three stage complaints process. At any stage during the complaints process you can request a meeting with the Quality Manager to discuss the status of your complaint and to ensure you properly understand our response. 

Step one – investigation and response

Following receipt of a formal complaint, we will call you or send you a letter or email of acknowledgement within three working days. We will explain the process for handling complaints and the steps we will take to investigate this.

Your complaint will be fully investigated and unless the issues need a longer investigation period we will send a full written response within 20 working days. Where an investigation in progress exceeds this time frame, we will send letter every 20 working days explaining the reason for the delay. We may invite you to meet with us to ensure we fully understand the issues. 

If you are not satisfied with the response from the manager involved, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a senior member of the management team who has not been previously involved in the case. This is known as stage two. 

Should you wish to escalate your complaint to stage two, you must do so in writing within six months of receipt of the final response at stage one. You will be fully informed of the process and who to write to with your complaint. 

Step two – complaint review

The appointed Investigating Officer, a senior member of the management team will review your complaint. The appointed Investigating Officer will not have been involved in handling your complaint at stage one and will provide an objective assessment of your complaint. The appointed Investigating Officer will undertake an independent review of the handling of your complaint including a review of the documentation and, where required, interview local staff. We will send you an acknowledgement within three working days and, unless the issues need a longer investigation period due to their complexity, a full written response within 20 working days. The appropriate senior manager may invite you to meet to ensure that they fully understand the issues. 

Step three – independent external adjudication

We will do everything we can to resolve your complaint without having to reach this stage. However, if after stages one and two, you feel that we have not resolved the complaint to your satisfaction you can request an independent external adjudication. External adjudication is an independent review carried out by the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS). The senior manager you have been communicating with at stage two will advise you on the process of external adjudication. You must write within six months of receipt of the stage two decision letter. 

Equality and diversity

People who use our service are able to use our complaints process and know that:

  • They will be treated fairly and their concerns responded to in a way that respects their human rights and diversity 
  • They will be able and assisted, where required, to make a complaint in any way that they feel comfortable 
  • Making a complaint will not cause them to be discriminated against

Complaints from relatives or friends

Any complaint made by a patient’s relative or friend will be treated in the same way as a complaint made by the patient, providing we have the patient’s consent to respond to another person regarding their treatment. 

Confidentiality

Everyone working within Fortius Clinic has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Information will only be shared with people who have a genuine need for it, for example your GP, or if the law requires it. However, please be assured that anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential. We treat our patients with dignity and respect, if you feel this has not been the case, then please let us know. 
All complaints are recorded and reviewed in line with the Fortius Clinic Complaints Policy and Procedure. A fully copy of this can be obtained on request from the Quality Manager.