NHS Complaints

NHS Complaints

NHS complaints system England

As a GOS contractor you must adhere to the NHS Complaints system with regards to both the provision of NHS Sight Tests and locally commissioned eye care services. You must hold a complaints policy, designate a complaints manager and inform the public of this policy via notice or leaflet. Staff should also be trained and aware of the policy. Complaints should be kept separate to patient records, the number received reported annually to the NHS and the associated paperwork kept for two years.  For further information please refer to the Optical Confederation advice on complaints and the complaints regulations below.

NHS complaints system Wales

Contractors in Wales must establish and operate a complaints procedure to deal with complaints by, or on behalf of, patients.  The complaints procedure must

  • specify the person responsible for receiving and investigating complaints
  • state that all complaints shall be:
  1. recorded in writing
  2. acknowledged (orally or in writing) within 2 days (excluding weekends and public holidays)
  3. properly investigated
  • state that the complainant should be given a written summary of the investigation and its conclusions within 20 working days (excluding public holidays and weekends)
  • advise the patient if patient records need to be accessed to investigate the complaint
  • keep a record of the complaints and copies of correspondence (separate from the eye examination record)
  • provide information surrounding the complaints procedure to patients

Regulatory requirements regarding patient complaints, see section 8 – GOS Contract Regulations 1986

NHS complaints system Scotland

Contractors in Scotland must establish and operate a complaints procedure to deal with complaints by, or on behalf of, patients.  The complaints procedure must:

  • specify the person responsible for receiving and investigating complaints
  • state that all complaints shall be:
  1. recorded in writing
  2. acknowledged (orally or in writing) within 3 days (excluding weekends and public holidays)
  3. properly investigated
  • properly investigated
  • state that the complainant should be given a written summary of the investigation and its conclusions within 10 working days (excluding public holidays and weekends)
  • advise the patient if patient records need to be accessed to investigate the complaint
  • keep a record of the complaints and copies of correspondence (separate from the eye examination record)
  • provide information surrounding the complaints procedure to patients

Complaints procedure outlined in paragraph 11 of the GOS Regulations

NHS complaints system Northern Ireland

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety guidance document ‘Complaints in Health and Social Care: Standards and Guidelines for Resolution and Learning’ outlines a complaints process that applies equally to all Health and Social Care (HSC) organisations. Optical practices, especially staff who handle complaints, should refer to this guidance.