Patient Advice & Complaints
The information contained here explains how you can let us know if you are dissatisfied as a result of a direct experience with our services.
View or download more information here:
Who Can I Complain To?
A Verbal – Informal Complaint – to a member of staff in the department where
the complaint originated, that is if the complaint originated in the Primary
Care Centre then to the relevant manager at the Centre.
A written – Formal Complaint – addressed to the Chief Executive of the GHA
or the Complaints Co-ordinator. Written complaints must not be sent to
other members of staff as these will not be acknowledged or responded to.
Can Anyone Make a Complaint?
No – The only people that can complain are the patients themselves or:
The next of kin
A close relative (parent/sibling/son/daughter/in-law/grandchild/legal
Carer (where the person provides regular support to the patient)
An established patient support group
The complainant’s solicitor
What Will Happen?
If you want to make a verbal complaint, you should speak to a member of
staff in the department where you experienced the problem. It may be that
the first person you speak to is not the best person to help you. In this
case, they will contact someone who can come and deal with your complaint.
If we have been unable to respond within five working days, you should make
a further formal complaint addressed to the Chief Executive or Complaints
If you send us a letter of complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of this
within two working days.
You will be offered the opportunity to meet the staff involved in the
episode that led to the complaint.
A full investigation of the complaint will be carried out by senior staff of
the GHA and response given and signed by the Chief Executive within 20
working days of the receipt of the complaint.
If this is not possible for any justifiable reason, you will be immediately
informed in writing. However you will not have to wait more than eight
weeks for a full written response.
If you remain unhappy with the response a meeting will be arranged with the
Chief Executive. If the complaint still cannot be resolved you will have
twenty-eight working days to request a meeting of the Independent Review
Panel from the Ombudsman.
Independent Review Panel
The Independent Review Panel will consist of three members nominated by the
Ombudsman from a register. These people are independent to the GHA. If the
complaint is clinical in nature, at least one clinical assessor external to
the GHA will also be appointed. Investigations by the panel will be carried
out within 12 weeks of their appointment.
Do You Need Help In Writing A Letter?
If you need help with writing a letter, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau will
help you write it. You may contact them on telephone 200 40006 or just call
at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s office at 10 Governors Lane.
Will My Complaint Make A Difference?
All the information from both formal and informal complaints will be stored
on a database. This information will be used to ensure that lessons are
learnt from complaints and that the necessary changes to our services are
identified so that they are improved.
Who Should I Contact If I Require More Information?
Please note that, if the complainant indicates that litigation is being
pursued, the Procedure will cease and the complainant will be advised to
follow the litigation process.