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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 14 January 2014
Date of Publication: 21 February 2014
Inspection Report published 21 February 2014 PDF

People should have their complaints listened to and acted on properly (outcome 17)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are sure that their comments and complaints are listened to and acted on effectively.
  • Know that they will not be discriminated against for making a complaint.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 14 January 2014, observed how people were being cared for and sent a questionnaire to people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

There was an effective complaints system available. Comments and complaints people made were responded to appropriately.

Reasons for our judgement

There was a complaints system available.

We asked people who used the service if they would know how to make a complaint. Two out of the four people we asked said ‘yes’ and two said ‘no’. Most of the people said that they could approach the staff and they felt staff would listen to any complaint or suggestion they had. A person who used the service said “A lot of the complaint procedures are done by raising concerns or issues verbally and this sometimes makes the resolution or response time too slow.” They went on to say “I think complaints should be handled in writing so that a clear channel of communication is maintained between the customer and the Epsom Skin Clinic.”

We saw information about how to make a complaint was made available in a hand-out given to patients. The document clearly explained how to make a complaint, and the process that the provider would follow. They also gave information on other agencies that a person could contact if they wished, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The provider may wish to note that the CQC does not deal with individual complaints as stated in the patients’ guide. Patients should be given information about the health ombudsman where they could take their complaints.

The provider had a complaints procedure in place. The procedure detailed how complaints were recorded, handled and acknowledged. We observed complaints information had been recorded on a central log. This log recorded key information such as the date the complaint had been received, details of the complaint, details of the investigation undertaken and action taken. We noted there had been one complaint made in December 2013 and we saw that this had been recorded appropriately and dealt with satisfactorily.

We saw information that captured and summarised patient’s feedback about the service provided. The manager obtained this information by providing patients with an information card, which directed patients to a website to record their feedback about the overall opinion of their care and service provided. The manager told us that as a result of feedback about local anaesthetic cream used during treatments they had changed the cream. This showed us that the provider listened to and responded to comments made by people who used the service.

We asked staff what they would do if someone wished to make a complaint. One staff member told us “I would tell them to send an email to the manager.” Another member of staff told us “I would refer minor concerns to the therapist.” They went onto say “If they were still unhappy then speak to the manager.” Staff knew where the complaints procedure was situated. This showed us that staff knew how to respond if they received a complaint.