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Trying to complain about local Doctors surgery?

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Hi all.

 

A long story cut short - over the last few years I have never enjoyed picking up medication from our local Doctors surgery, which is a small branch of a bigger surgery, because of the awful service that you have to put up with - very slow service, pills almost always being mislaid or sometimes not being able to be found with a request to 'come back later'.

 

I finally had enough last September when a I was waiting for over ten minutes for an employee to find my pills when I was in a rush as I had a busy day ahead of me, I phoned the main surgery to question why this was always happening and spoke to someone (let's call her 'J') in the position to deal with complaints. She advised that to make 'the board' aware of any issues, she needs to receive the complaint in writing. I explained that I was recovering from concussion and that my concentration levels were quite poor and asked her to pass on my concerns to them. She said again how if I was serious then she would need it in writing. I asked what would happen if she didn't receive it and she said that she would deal with it informally and I got the distinct impression that she was trying very hard to persuade me not to put it in writing and that she wouldn't deal with it. This did the trick and I never got around to completing the letter and ever since then I've always thought what an effective filtering system it is because rarely do people actually sit down to write letters these days. Unfortunately, due to the effects of the concussion and other issues, I never did complete the letter of complaint.

 

During December I attempted to make contact with her manager (let's call her 'S') because I felt frustrated that J had effectively stopped my complaint from being passed on and still the local surgery was awful (I was in a line of people who were all saying similar things to "It's always like this"). Getting hold of her manager was extraordinarily difficult with various promises of a call back never materialising. Finally last week I rang the surgery and asked the receptionist to get S to call me back as I would like to complain about how 'J' dealt with my verbal complaint. Finally S left a voice message saying how she had heard that I wanted to speak to both her and 'J', which I found a little odd.

 

Just now, I finally got to speak to 'S' on the phone. She explained that 'J' was listening in to the call. I asked for a meeting next week. S said that next week was not possible but whenever the meeting does take place then J will be present. I stated how I believed that being as part of my complaint was about J then this would make things quite awkward and uncomfortable for myself. S insisted that J would have to be present so that they would both hear what I had to say. S did press me for what my complaint was about and I explained that if she were to look at J's notes (that J promised me she took at the time) then she would know exactly what this was about (at this point I was suspecting that J never did take notes on my complaint and just let the matter slide)

 

Although I persevered with getting a meeting with S in two weeks' time, she again insisted that J be present.

My question is, is it the norm when making a complaint about someone that they be there whilst you are making the complaint? If it is, then so be it, but I am curious.

 

*Sorry for the length of this, I guess I didn't cut it short after all.

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I phoned the main surgery to question why this was always happening and spoke to someone (let's call her 'J') in the position to deal with complaints. She advised that to make 'the board' aware of any issues, she needs to receive the complaint in writing. I explained that I was recovering from concussion and that my concentration levels were quite poor and asked her to pass on my concerns to them. She said again how if I was serious then she would need it in writing. I asked what would happen if she didn't receive it and she said that she would deal with it informally and I got the distinct impression that she was trying very hard to persuade me not to put it in writing and that she wouldn't deal with it.

 

Or she was trying to give you the impression that complaints in writing were more likely to be dealt with ...... you know, by telling you at least twice to put it in writing!. By not putting it in writing likely they dealt with it as "informal feedback" rather than "formal complaint".

 

Did you receive acknowledgment of a complaint, and then the conclusion of their investigation?. This would be normal practice for a complaint, but not "informal feedback"

 

During December I attempted to make contact with her manager (let's call her 'S') because I felt frustrated that J had effectively stopped my complaint from being passed on and still the local surgery was awful (I was in a line of people who were all saying similar things to "It's always like this"). Getting hold of her manager was extraordinarily difficult with various promises of a call back never materialising. Finally last week I rang the surgery and asked the receptionist to get S to call me back as I would like to complain about how 'J' dealt with my verbal complaint. Finally S left a voice message saying how she had heard that I wanted to speak to both her and 'J', which I found a little odd.

 

Just now, I finally got to speak to 'S' on the phone. She explained that 'J' was listening in to the call. I asked for a meeting next week. S said that next week was not possible but whenever the meeting does take place then J will be present. I stated how I believed that being as part of my complaint was about J then this would make things quite awkward and uncomfortable for myself. S insisted that J would have to be present so that they would both hear what I had to say. S did press me for what my complaint was about and I explained that if she were to look at J's notes (that J promised me she took at the time) then she would know exactly what this was about (at this point I was suspecting that J never did take notes on my complaint and just let the matter slide)

 

Although I persevered with getting a meeting with S in two weeks' time, she again insisted that J be present.

My question is, is it the norm when making a complaint about someone that they be there whilst you are making the complaint? If it is, then so be it, but I am curious.

 

*Sorry for the length of this, I guess I didn't cut it short after all.

 

It isn't "the norm", but does allow more easily for "local resolution".

If what you want is an apology (from J and / or from S), and a verbal comment of "we'll try to improve things" : carry on as you are.

 

If what you want is a formal complaint : You are best to do so in writing.

Since you've been able to describe events in your post ; You've already made a start ......

So, your options are to make the complaint to the practice, or to NHS England (assuming you are in England). You get to choose which, not the practice.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/

 

I suspect the reply you'll get from anything less than a written complaint is "Buel was advised (more than once) that if they wanted to make a complaint they should do so in writing. They chose to give verbal feedback, (which was noted)", or "as this was verbal feedback rather than a formal complaint, J doesn't remember the details. However, their usual practice would be to pass on any feedback, so I'm sure this was done, but we don't recall the exact details 4 months later, though we do take all feedback on board".

 

What is the main thing (/things) you want as an outcome?.

If it is the 'medication service' to improve make sure you are highlighting that this is still an ongoing issue.

If the failure to record your initial complaint as a complaint, you may need to stress that you were advised to put it in writing, but that due to your medical condition at the time you weren't able to do so; that although it wasn't in writing it should have been dealt with as a formal complaint, (due to your medical condition!).

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Thank you for that very helpful reply.

Or she was trying to give you the impression that complaints in writing were more likely to be dealt with ...... you know, by telling you at least twice to put it in writing!. By not putting it in writing likely they dealt with it as "informal feedback" rather than "formal complaint".

There was no 'impression', she did state this. My argument to her was that not everybody has the time or ability to write letters and that my vision was very poor at that time due to the consussion, and then asked her repeatedly if she would take my verbal details complaint to somewhere where action could be taken, or at least looked at by those in charge. She said that she could not do this.

Did you receive acknowledgment of a complaint, and then the conclusion of their investigation?. This would be normal practice for a complaint, but not "informal feedback"

No acknowledgment was received at all.

 

 

If what you want is an apology (from J and / or from S), and a verbal comment of "we'll try to improve things" : carry on as you are.

No, an apology would not help, whether sincere or not.

Since you've been able to describe events in your post ; You've already made a start

An excellent point.

 

So, your options are to make the complaint to the practice, or to NHS England (assuming you are in England). You get to choose which, not the practice.

The surgery is in Wales, as am I.

 

What is the main thing (/things) you want as an outcome?.

For the situation in their branch surgery to be looked at or even experienced.

I don't (yet) know what the better process for locating medicines/pills for patients would be but I would hope that it doesn't need a process engineer to know that large plastic containers with letters A-D, E-J, etc, on scattered shelves is not the ideal scenario. Even if this was the perfect mechanism for locating medicines, it clearly does not work at this surgery. I appreciate that I may sound like I am moaning but you simply would not believe the amount of times that friends of mine have also heard those words "Oh they're not in the right container, I'll have to go and ask where they are". Once, I can take, three or four times, I used to take with patience, but a ten minute wait many times is just too many to bear without deciding that something must be done.

 

Any ideas of what the more advanced process is these days for Doctors surgeries to locate patients' medicines?

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The surgery is in Wales, as am I.

 

What is the main thing (/things) you want as an outcome?.

For the situation in their branch surgery to be looked at or even experienced.

I don't (yet) know what the better process for locating medicines/pills for patients would be

.............

 

Once, I can take, three or four times, I used to take with patience, but a ten minute wait many times is just too many to bear without deciding that something must be done.

 

I should have spotted 'board' in your OP, which should have suggested Wales.

 

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/Documents/932/16827%20UPDATED%20PTR%20LEAFLET%20NOV%202012%20ENGLISH%20WEB.pdf

 

(or its equivalent in Welsh ....)

 

If the surgery hasn't (yet!) improved, then perhaps taking it to the board is the way to go, or seek advice from the CHC as to the best way forward.

 

I'm unsure if taking a concern to the practice prevents taking it to the board as well, or later; you might be wise to check this with the CHC to se if you need to cancel the meeting with the practice!.

 

AS well as stressing the impact on you, you might also highlight the impact of the poor process on the staff's time - think of the other tasks they could be doing instead of wasting 10 minutes on a 1 minute job!.

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This is why I love this forum so much - such excellent help without the digs that you see on other forums (Martin Lewis is one, for example).

I think direct to the board would be a good plan of action!

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Buel, I'm a practice manager in Wales. I'm tied up with looking after my little one at the minute to be able to respond fully but I will over the weekend.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Is there any reason why you have to use your surgery for your prescriptions, forgive me I am not in Wales but in England we can get a paper prescription and go to any pharmacy we want to or nominate one to look after repeat prescriptions, I did google pharmacies in wales in case they don't exist but it seems they do, so whilst waiting for your complaint to be resolved can you not ask for a paper prescription and go some where else next time you need medication

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If it is a surgery in a very rural area, the surgery may well be MUCH closer (or much more accessible) than the pharmacy.

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Okay then, sorry for the delay in responding.

 

First things first, a complaint doesn’t need to be made in writing in order to be taken seriously. I’m dealing with a serious one at the moment that came to me in a telephone call, I then took lots of notes and wrote back to the person to ensure that I had fully grasped the nature of their concerns by summarising what I understood. Once they confirmed that I was on the right track, job done.

 

Secondly, the ‘board’ don’t need to know about complaints when they happen (unless they’re especially serious and yours isn’t), we do however send an annual summary of the complaints we’ve dealt with to the health board and they have a very useful concerns team that can give us advice and guidance should we want it.

 

I’m going to ask a question or two that you needn’t answer on here, as I’ll explain why I’m asking and the consequences of each answer. They’re just for your consideration really.

 

Are you currently taking / collecting for someone else any controlled drugs? If you are, they need to be kept securely whilst at the practice and their movements logged. A reason for the delay could be retrieving certain medications from the safe and completing the paperwork that accompanies this before dispensing them. Any loss or issues often mean getting the police involved so we’re VERY careful about how we do this.

 

Are there any issues over the frequency of your orders? Sometimes people can order their scripts too often for any number of reasons, when this happens the computer system can place safeguards in that need authorisation by a prescriber.

 

Does the branch site operate with only one person? As qualified dispensing staff aren’t pharmacists their work needs to be double checked by another dispenser or prescriber. That can mean waiting for a GP to become available between consultations. Are you giving sufficient notice of ordering your repeats? When people tell us they’re needing meds but don’t give us enough notice we can struggle sometimes to get the orders in early enough to dispense the meds from them (see above about logging where CD’s are, unpacking a delivery isn’t just opening the boxes). You mentioned going in to collect on your way to work, well that’s not only your busiest time but ours too. We can be juggling phonecalls, dealing with urgent test results, trying to help the GP/Nurse that’s forgotten their password again and if someone isn’t there to help then it’s quite a tall order.

 

Nevertheless, I do think you’ve been short changed somewhat by the person you first spoke to. I’d refer to your first phonecall as an ‘on the spot concern’ we have a form for them and it’s a concern raised by someone that can be resolved there and then. That’s what this is, an easily sorted issue. But it does seem like the second person (is this the Practice Manager?) is being a bit awkward. So, this depends on how you want to resolve it. The devil in me thinks that a phonecall to your local health board’s concerns team will really ruin her day, not because she’s actually done anything wrong but now she’s nailed to providing a full response. Should the concerns team feel it warrants it, they’ll also ask the PM to do a full root-cause analysis of the issue...

 

Concerns in the Welsh NHS and their management is regulated by a piece of policy called ‘Putting things right’ or PTR, ask for a copy from the surgery or google it. I’d be inclined during your meeting to ask to see the dispensing SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for ensuring that medication is dispensed correctly and ask what they say about storage of prepared prescriptions. Ask to see the written complaints policy that says you must address your concerns to the person they involve and if you’re feeling especially cruel, ask for a meeting with the senior partner to discuss the PM’s handling of your concern so far.

 

There is a caveat to this, some practices throughout Wales are what is known as ‘managed’ which is where the Health Board itself has taken responsibility for running the surgery – the process doesn’t change but it could explain the initial ‘need it in writing to let the board know’ response.

 

If this were me, I’d think I had given the practice ample opportunity to address my concerns and that they were being a bit obstructive. I’d ease those obstructions out of their way for them by calling the Concerns Team at the health board and detailing not only my initial issue which although annoying isn’t exactly huge but also my concern about how I’ve been handled thus far. Then I’d attend the meeting with the two of them and explain this having already found myself a copy of PTR and highlighted the good bits... But that’s just me...


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Okay then, sorry for the delay in responding.

 

First things first, a complaint doesn’t need to be made in writing in order to be taken seriously. I’m dealing with a serious one at the moment that came to me in a telephone call, I then took lots of notes and wrote back to the person to ensure that I had fully grasped the nature of their concerns by summarising what I understood. Once they confirmed that I was on the right track, job done.

 

Secondly, the ‘board’ don’t need to know about complaints when they happen (unless they’re especially serious and yours isn’t), we do however send an annual summary of the complaints we’ve dealt with to the health board and they have a very useful concerns team that can give us advice and guidance should we want it.

 

I’m going to ask a question or two that you needn’t answer on here, as I’ll explain why I’m asking and the consequences of each answer. They’re just for your consideration really.

 

Are you currently taking / collecting for someone else any controlled drugs? If you are, they need to be kept securely whilst at the practice and their movements logged. A reason for the delay could be retrieving certain medications from the safe and completing the paperwork that accompanies this before dispensing them. Any loss or issues often mean getting the police involved so we’re VERY careful about how we do this.

 

Are there any issues over the frequency of your orders? Sometimes people can order their scripts too often for any number of reasons, when this happens the computer system can place safeguards in that need authorisation by a prescriber.

 

Does the branch site operate with only one person? As qualified dispensing staff aren’t pharmacists their work needs to be double checked by another dispenser or prescriber. That can mean waiting for a GP to become available between consultations. Are you giving sufficient notice of ordering your repeats? When people tell us they’re needing meds but don’t give us enough notice we can struggle sometimes to get the orders in early enough to dispense the meds from them (see above about logging where CD’s are, unpacking a delivery isn’t just opening the boxes). You mentioned going in to collect on your way to work, well that’s not only your busiest time but ours too. We can be juggling phonecalls, dealing with urgent test results, trying to help the GP/Nurse that’s forgotten their password again and if someone isn’t there to help then it’s quite a tall order.

 

Nevertheless, I do think you’ve been short changed somewhat by the person you first spoke to. I’d refer to your first phonecall as an ‘on the spot concern’ we have a form for them and it’s a concern raised by someone that can be resolved there and then. That’s what this is, an easily sorted issue. But it does seem like the second person (is this the Practice Manager?) is being a bit awkward. So, this depends on how you want to resolve it. The devil in me thinks that a phonecall to your local health board’s concerns team will really ruin her day, not because she’s actually done anything wrong but now she’s nailed to providing a full response. Should the concerns team feel it warrants it, they’ll also ask the PM to do a full root-cause analysis of the issue...

 

Concerns in the Welsh NHS and their management is regulated by a piece of policy called ‘Putting things right’ or PTR, ask for a copy from the surgery or google it. I’d be inclined during your meeting to ask to see the dispensing SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) for ensuring that medication is dispensed correctly and ask what they say about storage of prepared prescriptions. Ask to see the written complaints policy that says you must address your concerns to the person they involve and if you’re feeling especially cruel, ask for a meeting with the senior partner to discuss the PM’s handling of your concern so far.

 

There is a caveat to this, some practices throughout Wales are what is known as ‘managed’ which is where the Health Board itself has taken responsibility for running the surgery – the process doesn’t change but it could explain the initial ‘need it in writing to let the board know’ response.

 

If this were me, I’d think I had given the practice ample opportunity to address my concerns and that they were being a bit obstructive. I’d ease those obstructions out of their way for them by calling the Concerns Team at the health board and detailing not only my initial issue which although annoying isn’t exactly huge but also my concern about how I’ve been handled thus far. Then I’d attend the meeting with the two of them and explain this having already found myself a copy of PTR and highlighted the good bits... But that’s just me...

 

Many apologies for the delay in replying, I didn't receive the notification that you had posted for some reason but have just logged on.

Thank you very much for that helpful post, you have raised many intriguing points.

I will try to answer the questions you raised:

 

Are you currently taking / collecting for someone else any controlled drugs?

I have been taking, and picking up, pills for indigestion and have infrequently been picking up contraceptive pills for my wife. Please let me explain that this is never a case where they have to go and ask someone senior (if it was, I'm actually a patient person and would have all the time in the world for this), it's either a case where the meds aren't in the appropriate plastic container, then takes a long time for them to find them, or something happens like what happened the day my patience finally broke (edit - I did say that I was in a rush but wasn't on my way to work, I had actually finished work and it was about 2pm, as it always is when I go there):

I waited for over five minutes (might not sound long, but just count it to yourself) for someone to appear at the dispensation counter, then when a woman appeared (who was pleasant enough), she couldn't find the necessary meds so asked me to wait for her senior to become available, another 4 minutes passed whilst a queue built up, then when the senior walked in to the room, she was about to come over to help but seen someone she knew at the door at the back of the office and went over to chat for a while (it was just polite talk, not important) and then ambled over to help the girl serving me. Then another search happened before the pills were found "in the wrong box", apparently. Now, on it's own, this would only be mildly frustrating, but this type of thing really does happen all the time.

Are there any issues over the frequency of your orders?

Yes, I will admit that I don't always pick them up on a regular basis. However, my wife ordered her pills frequently and I went in on a regular basis for these.

 

Does the branch site operate with only one person?

No, on average there is 4-5 people working there.

 

Are you giving sufficient notice of ordering your repeats?

I will only ever go in when the main surgery tell me when the meds will be available to be picked up.

 

Nevertheless, I do think you’ve been short changed somewhat by the person you first spoke to

I am back to 'normal' now (I was/am back in full time employment after a four week period off due to the concussion) but I did repeatedly tell her that I was not really in the right frame of mind to write a letter and repeatedly asked her to make my complaint official as opposed to an informal complaint but she insisted that she wouldn't. Further to this, and I would love your opinion on this, I told her how I am very uncomfortable that the dispensary will open their window and say "Mr XXXXX, your XXXX is ready". Now, I'll admit that indigestion pills are not the most embarrassing meds but I really hate everyone else in the queue, and waiting room, knowing what meds I take. One specific case was when I girl I knew was the only other person in there and she couldn't help but hear it. I explained this to the lady (not the PM) and she was so defensive about this that it shocked me. I explained my point that surely there must be a better way of doing it than this? Can you tell me if this is also the norm?

 

But it does seem like the second person (is this the Practice Manager?) is being a bit awkward.

I did tell her that I did not feel comfortable making the complaint about 'J' whilst 'J' was to be in the room and asked for her not to be there but she ruled this out. I couldn't help but feel that J did not take any notes of my complaint at the time, or has lost them, because the PM kept pushing for what my concerns were about the original incident but I referred her to J's notes and that all she had to do was to look at them. For the record, I have a friend who's parent works as a doctor at the surgery and I asked what sort of person the PM was - the reply was 'obnoxious, horrible woman who thinks she is running a tnc (?), not a surgery' and that lots of people have left because of her.

 

 

a phonecall to your local health board’s concerns team

I will do this as I do feel that my concerns will get brushed under the carpet.

 

Concerns in the Welsh NHS and their management is regulated by a piece of policy called ‘Putting things right’ or PTR, ask for a copy from the surgery or google it.

I will do this, thank you.

 

I’d be inclined during your meeting to ask to see the dispensing SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures)

Ask to see the written complaints policy that says you must address your concerns to the person they involve

Would it be good to ask for these beforehand?

 

ask for a meeting with the senior partner to discuss the PM’s handling of your concern so far.

I think this is a must

 

 

 

If this were me, I’d think I had given the practice ample opportunity to address my concerns and that they were being a bit obstructive. I’d ease those obstructions out of their way for them by calling the Concerns Team at the health board and detailing not only my initial issue which although annoying isn’t exactly huge but also my concern about how I’ve been handled thus far. Then I’d attend the meeting with the two of them and explain this having already found myself a copy of PTR and highlighted the good bits... But that’s just me...

Gosh, you're good.

 

Finally, I think I can track down the man who was with me the last time I was in the surgery who was also dismayed at how slow the meds dispensing is, and has been for years. How mush weight would it add if he agreed to write a statement?

 

Thank you so, so very much for your help. Sometimes it can feel a bit lonely when you are stone-walled but people like you, and this forum, are just wonderful

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Sorry, I’ve had one of ‘those’ weeks where one day seems to blend into another and one issue seems to grow legs and run off just as another rears its head.

 

Okay – so just a quick response, please forgive me.

 

There really is no need to track anyone down, your experience ought to be enough without needing to validate it with another person.

 

I wonder if the dispenser would call out ‘Okay Mr. X, your Sildenafil is ready?’ – no, this is unacceptable although I’ve probably been guilty of saying something similar before, especially ‘Oh hello Mrs. X, you here for your flu jab?’ it’s challenging sometimes to apply a filter to what we say, we normalise things by talking about them openly amongst ourselves and it’s true when I say we really don’t care what’s in someone’s prescription and for why, just in the same way that when someone says “it’s personal” when we enquire about the reason for their call we might sound indifferent. We’ve heard it all before, and most of us have probably experienced it too. But, I digress; this shouldn’t happen and I’d pose the question as to why it does if it happens all of the time. The occasional slip, not right but in the circumstances I can see how it would happen.

 

I’ve not heard the phrase TNC before, but regardless of her temperament she has a job to do. I’ve taken over from a few very long standing PM’s in my time and the dragon persona seems still prevalent in some. I go at them with a charm offensive, it’s fun watching them squirm and you can be far more cutting with a smile on your face and a slightly conciliatory tone. Something like:

 

“You know, I can see that you do an incredibly difficult job but that lack of attention to detail makes it difficult for me to have faith in how well the practice works. I can understand how things can get misplaced once or even twice but when there’s a pattern; well, it’s just disappointing. I was really surprised to when your colleague (don’t say member of staff, colleague puts them on a level playing field and she’ll hate that) thought it was okay to call out which types of medication were in the bag, this is a small community and whilst there’s nothing dramatic about omeprazole, how do I know I can be assured of some discretion when it’s something more personal that I need, the confidentiality of my consultation with my GP was totally lost in that moment. And, to make it all worse, when I do raise my concerns I’m told I need to put them in writing or they won’t be taken seriously, that’s why I’ve involved the Health Board as there’s nothing under PTR that says I need to write it down. I’m just disappointed, disappointed that there’s seemingly no clear process to store prepared medication, that one colleague thinks it’s okay to tell everyone in the waiting room what medication I’m using and another colleague who supposedly deals with complaints seems not to understand PTR and when I ask to speak with you, you make me wait two weeks for the privilege and tell me I need to voice my concerns directly to those involved.”


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Hi all.

 

A long story cut short - over the last few years I have never enjoyed picking up medication from our local Doctors surgery, which is a small branch of a bigger surgery, because of the awful service that you have to put up with - very slow service, pills almost always being mislaid or sometimes not being able to be found with a request to 'come back later'.

 

I finally had enough last September when a I was waiting for over ten minutes for an employee to find my pills when I was in a rush as I had a busy day ahead of me, I phoned the main surgery to question why this was always happening and spoke to someone (let's call her 'J') in the position to deal with complaints. She advised that to make 'the board' aware of any issues, she needs to receive the complaint in writing. I explained that I was recovering from concussion and that my concentration levels were quite poor and asked her to pass on my concerns to them. She said again how if I was serious then she would need it in writing. I asked what would happen if she didn't receive it and she said that she would deal with it informally and I got the distinct impression that she was trying very hard to persuade me not to put it in writing and that she wouldn't deal with it. This did the trick and I never got around to completing the letter and ever since then I've always thought what an effective filtering system it is because rarely do people actually sit down to write letters these days. Unfortunately, due to the effects of the concussion and other issues, I never did complete the letter of complaint.

 

During December I attempted to make contact with her manager (let's call her 'S') because I felt frustrated that J had effectively stopped my complaint from being passed on and still the local surgery was awful (I was in a line of people who were all saying similar things to "It's always like this"). Getting hold of her manager was extraordinarily difficult with various promises of a call back never materialising. Finally last week I rang the surgery and asked the receptionist to get S to call me back as I would like to complain about how 'J' dealt with my verbal complaint. Finally S left a voice message saying how she had heard that I wanted to speak to both her and 'J', which I found a little odd.

 

Just now, I finally got to speak to 'S' on the phone. She explained that 'J' was listening in to the call. I asked for a meeting next week. S said that next week was not possible but whenever the meeting does take place then J will be present. I stated how I believed that being as part of my complaint was about J then this would make things quite awkward and uncomfortable for myself. S insisted that J would have to be present so that they would both hear what I had to say. S did press me for what my complaint was about and I explained that if she were to look at J's notes (that J promised me she took at the time) then she would know exactly what this was about (at this point I was suspecting that J never did take notes on my complaint and just let the matter slide)

 

Although I persevered with getting a meeting with S in two weeks' time, she again insisted that J be present.

My question is, is it the norm when making a complaint about someone that they be there whilst you are making the complaint? If it is, then so be it, but I am curious.

 

*Sorry for the length of this, I guess I didn't cut it short after all.

 

 

Insisting that a complaint is put in writing is discriminatory against people who cannot articulate themselves in writing for any reason. My GP surgery told me a complaint must be put in writing. I challenged them about this in a humdinger of a complaint letter; they have since revised their policy and will now discuss complaints verbally, take notes and agree the content of the notes before the complaint is taken further.

 

With regard to this meeting at the surgery, it may be awkward with 'J' there, but you have a sound complaint. I suggest you take a witness with you because 2 against 1 is not fair.

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