Report Date

04/08/2024

Case Against

A GP Practice in the area of Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

Subject

Health

Case Reference Number

202306798

Outcome

Upheld in whole or in part

Miss C complained that her GP Practice failed to respond to a complaint she had raised, in February 2023, appropriately and in a timely manner.

We found that the complaints procedure which was in place at the time was not in line with relevant legislation, and the handling of Miss C’s complaint was poor. She did not receive a response for 9 months, and several of her requests for contact and updates on the status of her complaint went unacknowledged. These failings amounted to an injustice for Miss C, because it exacerbated her feelings of distress from the initial circumstances of the complaint and led to her feeling ignored and dismissed by the Practice. It also caused her more time and trouble than would normally be expected when raising a complaint.

The Practice had changed its approach to complaints since the time of the events and demonstrated that this had already had a positive influence on complaint resolution. However, we found that no action had been taken to redress the injustice to Miss C or to adequately address the persistent communication failures. In addition, although the Practice had revised its complaint procedure, the new version remained non-compliant with relevant legislation.

The Practice agreed to apologise to Miss C and offered her £300 in recognition of the persistent communication failures, and to revise its new complaints procedure to ensure that it was fully compliant with relevant complaint regulations. It also agreed to source and arrange complaint handling training for relevant staff, and to ensure that all staff in the Practice are full informed of their responsibilities in relation to complaint handling.