A GP Practice in the area of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
A complainant complained about the delay in an agreed complaint meeting taking place, and the fact that the Medical Centre did not retain telephone recordings, which the complainant considered would provide evidence in support of their complaint. The complainant also complained that the Medical Centre made reference to highly sensitive personal information being contained in a written reply to their complaint.
The Ombudsman found that, while the delay in the complaint meeting taking place was reasonable, the Medical Centre should have preserved the telephone recordings because it knew there was a complaint on-going. The Ombudsman shared the complainant’s concern about the highly sensitive personal information contained in the complaint response letter, noting that the complainant had not referred to this in their complaint at all, and it would have been distressing for the complainant to read this as part of the response to their complaint. The Ombudsman also found that the Medical Centre did not mention the Ombudsman’s service, although there is a legal requirement for complaint response letters to signpost complainants to the Ombudsman.
The Medical Centre agreed to apologise to the complainant and to offer them a payment of £100 for the time and trouble experienced in bringing their complaint to the Ombudsman, within 1 month. It also agreed to ensure that all template letters responding to complaints were compliant with the NHS Putting Things Right regulations within 3 months.