Complaints Policy

Redshank House

Kingfisher Way

Hinchingbrooke Business Park


PE29 6FN


SECTION A: Document Control

Document Title:WCF Complaints Policy
Author and Role:Clinical Lead
Current Version Number:1.1
Document Created on:30.01.2023
Current Document Approved By: 
New Version:Created on :Version Created By:Version Approved By:Next Review due on:Changes/Comments: ManagerCEO30.01.2024 
1.111/09/2023Office Manager 11/09/2023Minor changes to the Written complaint process

Section B


1. Introduction

WCF provides wide range of healthcare services to the patients. Our dedicated teams work extremely hard to deliver the highest level of services. Despite the best efforts, we realise that it is not always possible to avoid dissatisfaction and disappointment. Patients/Customers satisfaction is our priority that’s why we will do everything we can to resolve complaints in a timely manner and to the patient satisfaction.  This policy covers complains arise from using WCF Healthcare Services delivered by its staff from third party locations or other services provided directly by West Cambs Federation.

2. Aim

The aim of policy is to ensure that all complaints, either written or verbal, are handled in a consistent and regulated manner and that further complaint incidents are mitigated and where possible, prevented. Where a customer has cause to complain, the complaints handling procedure will be followed in every instance and a record will be made of the complaint nature and details to help improve our services and reduce the occurrence of similar complaints.

3. People responsible

WCF appointed Complaints Manager to handle and investigate complaints. Complaints Manager will coordinate complaints process, ensure that complaints are investigated, responded to within agreed time frame and record and manage written complaints on TeamNet.  Depends on the nature of the complaint Complaints Manager will delegate suitable person to assist or conduct investigation.

If the complaint is made against Complaints Manager to avoid conflict of interest WCF CEO will nominate a suitable person to handle complaint process and investigation.

Appeals from the decision made by Complaint Manager or other person responsible for investigating complaint needs to be forwarded to the WCF CEO for the final resolution.

People responsible for handling and processing complaints will maintain confidential and sensitive data in conjunction with GDPR regulations.

4. WCF Responsibilities

  • To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • To ensure that our complaints procedure is fully accessible so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • To make sure people responsible for handling complaints process knows what to do if a complaint is received.
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner.
  • To gather information which helps us to improve our services.

5. Raising a Complaint

Complaints are to be raised in writing, however verbal/informal complaints will be accepted and dealt with as per process outlined in section 6 of WCF Complaints Policy.

 If complaint is made on behalf of someone else, a written consent will be required from the patient concerned to proceed with the complaint.

 Informal/Verbal Complaints or issues should be addressed to a HUB’s WCF staff as soon as the issue occur for immediate resolution.  If the desired outcome can’t be achieved complainant should be advised to contact WCF directly or raise a formal complaint using details below:

Complaints should be addressed to:

The Complaints Manager, by post to: West Cambs Federation Kingfisher House, Hinchingbrooke Business Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6FN or email [email protected], telephone contact number:  01480756266.

6. Informal Complaint Resolution

 WCF responds and take responsibility for resolving informal and formal complaints to achieve the best possible outcome for complainant.

Some issues or verbal complaints can be resolved immediately or within three working day time-frame. This will only apply to the instances where the investigation is not required and satisfying outcome can be achieved. We ensure that complainant receives copy of Company Complaints Policy to follow. WCF takes every opportunity to resolve complaints at the first initial point of contact where possible. Informal resolution is always attempted where the issues raised are straightforward and potentially easily resolved, requiring little or no investigation.

Process to follow:

  • Receive verbal/informal complaint.
  • If the complaint has been made on behalf of someone else written consent needs to be obtain in order to discuss further details
  • Make sure that complainant has a Company Complains Policy, if not it needs to be provided via email or other means of communication.
  • Arrange a telephone conversation to discuss an issue and gather more information.
  • If the complaint can’t be resolved during telephone conversation offer a face-to-face meeting
  • Establish what outcome is expected by the complainant.
  • If complaint were not resolved immediately when initial contact has been made or during phone conversation inform Complainant when the response will be given by (Ideally within 3 working days from the date of initial contact has been made).
  • Review the facts, make a decision and inform complainant about outcome.
  • If complainant is not happy with an outcome, responsible person will advise complainant about the right to raise a formal complaint in writing.

7. Formal Complaint

Where an official complaint has been received or the informal complaint was unable to be resolved at the initial point of contact, a written acknowledgement is sent to the customer within 3 working days. The letter should detail the complaint handling procedure and provide approximate timelines and expectations for the investigation and future responses. Depends on the nature of the complaint and how complex it is WCF will aim to investigate and resolve formal complaints within 6 weeks of the initial complaint being raised. Should the investigation take longer than 6 weeks’ time frame, responsible person will send complainant a letter explaining why the time frame has changed and provide new date of when the decision will be made by. 

Complainant has a right to appeal from the decision in writing within 7 working days from the day decision has been received by complainant. Appeal should be addressed to a WCF CEO for final resolution.

Process to follow:

  • Receive formal complaint.
  • Record Complaint details in relevant section on TeamNet
  • If the complaint has been made on behalf of someone else written consent needs to be obtain in order to discuss further details
  • Make sure that complainant has a Company Complains Policy, if not this needs to provide via email or other means of communication.
  • Complaints Manager to acknowledge complaint in writing within 3 working days.
  • Complaints Manager will delegate suitable person to assist with handling the investigation and take notes during a meeting with complainant.
  • Arrange meeting/telephone conversation with complainant to discuss details and gather more information.
  • Details of face-to-face meeting must be recorded by note taker. If the telephone conversation has been arranged instead, Complaints Manager or person responsible will be accountable for recording the conversation.
  • Investigate and review.
  • Inform complainant about an outcome in writing, not later than 6 weeks from the day the complaint has been received.
  • Inform Complainant about the right to appeal from the decision within 7 working days from the day decision has been received by complainant.

8. Investigation of Complaint

Complaints Manager or delegated employee will be assigned to investigate complaints and will gather all necessary documents, recordings, and information to make an independent review of the incident. Investigations must utilise all the facts and any previous, related information to produce an unbiased outcome and an expected course of action. All investigations must take place within 3-weeks of the initial complaint being received so that a final response can be sent to the customer within our designated 6-week period.  If the interviews are to be conducted, a note taker will be present alongside the investigator and complainant and a copy of the interview notes will be written up and signed by both parties.

Investigation process:

  • Interview witnesses mentioned in the complaint. Make sure that any third-party persons included in the complaint has given their consent to be interviewed regarding complaint.
  • Arrange a meeting or telephone conversation with a person implicated and obtain their statement.
  • Interview / telephone conversation with complainant to obtain a statement of events.
  • Based on complainant statement given on the day Complaints Manager and note taker ( person responsible) can decide about outcome of the investigation (after adjourning the meeting). If complainant is happy to accept a decision, formal confirmation letter will be sent to complainant within 7 working days.
  • Complainant will receive signed copies of the statement.
  • If the outcome can’t be reached on the day of the interview, complainant needs to be informed when the decision will be made by.
  • Review all the information gathered during the interview, assess, analyse, and decide.
  • When decision was made sent a confirmation letter to the complainant, no later than 6 weeks from the day complaint has been made.
  • Establish what went wrong and what can be improved to prevent the same complaints in the future.
  • Communicate your findings to your pears.

9. Response Letter

The full response to the complainant is to be send out no later then 10 days after investigation has been completed but before 6 weeks’ time frame mark. The letter must include the following information:

  • The conclusion reached in relation to the complaint.
  • Remedial actions that will be taken to prevent it in the future.
  • What facts has been considered when making decision?
  • Any action taken arising from the outcome of their complaint.
  • Apology

10. Recording Complaints

A record must be kept of:

  • Each complaint received.
  • The subject matter of the complaint
  • The steps and decisions taken during an investigation.
  • The outcome of each investigation
  • When the WCF informed the complainant of the response period and any amendment to that period
  • Whether a report of the outcome of the investigation was sent to the complainant within the time-frame or any amended period
  • A report on complaints is to be submitted to the Clinical Commissioning Group ( or replacement body) annually( tear ending 31st March). This report is to:
  • Specify number of complaints received.
  • Specify the number of complaints which it was decided were well – founded.
  • Specify the number of complaints which the practice has been informed and which has been referred to the Health Service Ombudsman
  • Summarise the subject matter of complaints received.
  • Summarise any matters of general importance arising out of these complaints or the way in which the complaints were handled.
  • Summarise any matters where action has been or is to be taken to improve services because of those complaints.

This report is to be shared with West Cambs Federation Board by the responsible person prior to submission to the commissioning organisation.