Connect Health is firmly committed to providing a high-quality service and continually improving the quality of service it provides
If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from Connect Health, you are entitled to make a complaint, have it considered and receive a response in writing. This section describes Connect Health’s complaints procedure, which is in line with the NHS complaints procedure.
Connect Health provide a range of services to the NHS, employers and the public, all of whom are included within this procedure.
Connect Health’s Principles for Managing Complaints
- Connect Health aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible, particularly through an immediate informal (verbal) response by front line staff
- Connect Health will ensure that all complaints are handled promptly, openly and thoroughly
- Connect Health’s complaints procedure will be fair to the complainant and Connect Health staff
- Connect Health will ensure the process is supportive and without blame, leading to improvement in standards of service delivery, patient safety and care
- Connect Health will carry out a full investigation which is focused on resolution being open and honest with all complainants
- If a resolution cannot be reached at local level, Connect Health will inform the complainant of how they can escalate their complaint or obtain an independent review of their complaint (if appropriate)
Who Can Complain?
A complaint can be made by a patient, a carer responsible for a patient or persons affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decision of Connect Health or its practitioners. A complaint made by someone acting on behalf of the patient, must have the patient’s consent to do so.
To Whom Should I Raise My Concern/Complaint Initially?
The first stage of our Complaints Procedure is ‘Local Resolution’. This applies principally where a ‘Informal Complaint’ (usually made verbally in the first instance), is shared with a member of staff at Connect. This could be to one of our Patient Care Advisers over the phone, to the individual practitioner who provided the service, or alternatively to the Connect Manager of that service.
‘Local resolution’ aims to resolve concerns and complaints quickly as close to the source of the complaint as possible, and, if possible, without the need to make a more formal complaint. In our experience, most complaints are due to simple areas of misunderstanding or unforeseen minor errors. In both instances, verbal dialogue, an explanation and if necessary, an apology, is all that is required.
How Do I Make a Formal Complaint?
If local resolution has not been successful, your concerns have not been addressed or if you feel your complaint is of such significance that it requires escalating to a higher authority, you will need to put your complaint formally in writing (by post, email, or via our website). This should be directed to the local Manager responsible for the service you received, or to Connect Health’s Head Office for the attention of our Complaints Team (see below).
If you make a complaint in writing, Connect Health will ensure it is logged formally and responded to fully, in writing.
What is the Process for Reviewing My Complaint?
Connect Health’s timescales for managing complaints are in line with NHS Complaints Management Timescales. For all written complaints that we receive, you will receive:
- Acknowledgement, within 3 working days of receipt
- A full response, following a review from a Connect Health manager, within 30 working days
You will be kept informed of progress if, for any reason, this is not going to happen.
Where Can I Get Independent Advice and Help?
If for any reason, you are unhappy with Connect Health’s formal response to your complaint, then you should consult with the person/organisation who referred you to Connect Health (unless you referred yourself). E.g. your GP or Employer. If you were referred to Connect Health via the NHS, (i.e. paid for by your GP) you may have access to the independent Patient Advice & Liaison Service, known as PALS, who support patients and carers in trying to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. There also a number of complaint advocacy services available depending on which area of the country you live.
Find your local PALS or contact your GP surgery for support.
[Please note some areas no longer have PALS services available to patients].
The Health Service Ombudsman
NHS patients referred to Connect Health, who remain unhappy after local resolution and independent review, can also seek a further review from the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and private organisations and can be contacted at:
Telephone: 0345 015 4033
How to Formally Lodge a Complaint
If you want to make a ‘formal’ complaint about any aspect of treatment or care you have received from Connect Health, then please send your complaint in writing to:
The Complaints Coordinator,
Connect Health (Central Office),
Floor 3 The Light Box,
Newcastle upon Tyne,