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Introduction

We can only look at complaints about care given under the NHS; we cannot look at treatment given on a private basis.

Practice staff, such as nurses or receptionists, are employed by GPs, who are responsible for their actions. Any complaint about practice staff should be directed to the GP practice in the first instance.

 

What we can do

We can:

  • Look at complaints about the standard of clinical care given to you, your child, or someone you represent;
  • Look at complaints about administration going wrong or other poor service you have had from your GP Practice;
  • Look at complaints about how you have been removed from a GP Practice list;
  • Look at complaints about out-of-hours services (these are the responsibility of the relevant Health Board who arrange for the service to be delivered, often by third parties.).

 

What we cannot do

We cannot:

  • Stop your GP from practicing – although if our investigation suggests that there are serious concerns about professional competence, we may let the relevant regulatory body know;
  • Get involved  in your current treatment, get a second opinion for you, or arrange for you to be given an  alternative treatment if the treatment you are currently receiving is reasonable;
  • Put you back on to the Practice list if you have been removed;
  • Consider services provided by a GP Practice that fall outside of its contract with the local Health Board.  This includes complaints about paid-for services such as GP letters or the completion of documents for the purposes of the DWP/DVLA/employers, etc.

 

Issues to bear in mind

When looking at complaints about clinical care, we will assess whether the standard of care was appropriate in the circumstances at the time, rather than of a “gold standard”.

There are a number of circumstances where GPs are allowed to remove patients from their list – for example, when a patient moves away from the Practice’s area, or when the professional relationship between doctor and patient has broken down. You should normally be given a written warning before being removed from the list and given reasons for why you are being removed. You should not normally be removed from a Practice list simply because you have made a complaint.

Complaints about NHS out-of-hours services should normally be directed to the relevant Health Board in the first instance (see below for contact details).

 

Further information

Llais can provide free help and support with making your complaint. You can contact them via their helpline on 02920 235 558.

Your local Health Board may also be able to help you. Contact details for the Health Board for your area can be found at www.wales.nhs.uk/ourservices/directory.

 

Contact us

If you are not sure whether we would be able to look into your complaint, please contact us on 0300 790 0203 or ask@ombudsman.wales

Also available in Welsh.

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