A private London clinic integrating psychiatry and psychology

Complaints Process

If you are unhappy with the facilities or services you have received from this Clinic, or from the doctor looking after you, we would like to know about it as soon as possible so we can investigate your concerns and explain, apologise and take positive action where necessary.

Enquiries

You have the right to a full investigation of any complaint, both clinical and non-clinical, under the Sloane Court Clinic Complaints Process.

All feedback received by the Sloane Court Clinic is reviewed by the Registered Manager and is acted upon within the time frame outlined.

At all times during the review or investigation of a complaint, the complainant will be kept informed of the progress of the review or investigation.

Useful Links

Independent Doctors Federation (IDF) - www.idf.uk.net/

Independent Healthcare Advisory Service (IHAS) - https://iscas.cedr.com/

Care Quality Commission (CQC) - www.cqc.org.uk/

Grievances

If you feel that your needs have not been met or you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our staff.

In most circumstances, if you tell us about your concern quickly, we can resolve matters straight away.

To let us know about something with which you are unhappy please either phone Reception to discuss or email the General Manager on officemanager@sloanecourtclinic.com

Formal Complaints

If you are not fully satisfied you can put your concerns in writing and use our formal Complaint Resolution Procedure which meets with the requirements set out by the lndependent Doctors Federation (IDF) for its members and also the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS).

If your complaint is about a doctor who is not an IDF member, you have the option to take your complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC) who would review the complaint to decide whether it meets the threshold for a GMC investigation. If the threshold was not met, then the complaint would be passed to the doctor’s Responsible Officer.

Please note that Doctors covered by the lndependent Doctors Federation (IDF) are Dr Roger Howells, Dr Robert Harland and Dr Ilaria Bonaldi.

The Complaint Resolution Procedure has three stages and reflects the principles of the ISCAS Code of Practice:

  • Stage 1 Local resolution within the individual Clinic
  • Stage 2 GMC or IDF Complaint Resolution Procedure to review the complaint
  • Stage 3 Independent Adjudication from ISCAS

Stage 1

To start the formal Complaint Resolution Procedure you should write to our General Manager on officemanager@sloanecourtclinic.com

If the complaint is against the General Manager please write to Dr Howells on rh@sloanecourtclinic.com

You should state what has caused you to have concerns and make your points clear. Please document when the relevant events took place and what results you might expect from your complaint.

The Clinic will send you an acknowledgement of your letter within two working days of receipt of the complaint (unless the Clinic is able to provide you with a full response within five days).

A full response to your complaint will be made within twenty days of the receipt of the complaint.

If the investigation is still in progress after twenty days a letter will be sent to you explaining the delay.

Once you have received your formal response, the clinic would be very happy to facilitate conversations between involved parties to discuss the matter openly, and resolve any final queries you may have.

Complaints should normally be made as soon as possible at stage 1, and within 6 months of the date of the event complained about, or within 6 months of the matter coming to the attention of the complainant. The time limit may be extended by the IHP where the complainant has good reason for not making a complaint in the time limit (for example, where a complainant has been grieving), and there is a realistic opportunity of conducting a fair and effective investigation into the issues raised.

Stage 2

If you remain dissatisfied following the final stage 1 response, then you can request a review of your complaint, known as Stage 2 by writing to:

Complaint Manager

The Independent Doctors Federation

Lettsom House

11 Chandos Street

Marylebone

London

W1G 9EB

Please note that stages 2 and 3 fall within the ISCAS Code of Practice for Complaints Management. A copy of this can be obtained from the IDF or from ISCAS.

Attention is drawn to the sections which clearly explain what the Code does and does not cover. You should understand that if the complaint is not covered by the ISCAS code then stages 2 and 3 will not be available.

The IDF Complaint Resolution Procedure will consider your complaint and may undertake a review of the documentation, any correspondence, and the handling of the complaint at Stage 1.

The Chairman of the IDF Complaint Resolution Procedure Committee will write to you according to the IDF procedures and in any event within twenty days to either confirm the outcome at Stage 1 or to offer an alternative resolution.

At this time, the IDF will advise you of your right to take the matter further to Independent Adjudication known as ISCAS and Stage 3 in these procedures.

Throughout the process all information, documents and records relevant to your complaint will be treated in the strictest confidence and no information will be divulged to any parties who are not involved in the IDF Complaint Resolution Procedure, unless required to do so by law.

If the Clinician concerned is not registered with the IDF, your complaint will need to be sent to the General Medical Council (GMC). You can raise a complaint by completing a feedback form on the GMC website, by emailing them at feedback@gmc-uk.org, calling them on 0161 923 6602, by using a representative or writing to them at:

Corporate Review team

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

The GMC will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and conduct an initial assessment.

The initial assessment will assess the complaint, send it to the appropriate person to respond and assign the complaint a reference number so it’s easier to track.

  • Stage 1 – Complaint investigation

Once your complaint is with the appropriate person, we’ll investigate it with help from the relevant team.

Will aim to conclude our investigation within ten working days of getting your complaint, let you know as soon as we’ve reached a decision, respond by email unless you tell us otherwise and tell you as soon as possible if delays are likely.

  • Stage 2 – Further response

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome from Stage 1, we’ll investigate it further. We may refer your complaint to a senior manager in the business area complained about. Or we may refer your complaint to an independent colleague from another part of the organisation.

We will aim to conclude our investigation within ten working days of you telling us that you’re not happy with our Stage 1 outcome, tell you as soon as we’ve reached a decision, respond by email unless you tell us otherwise and tell you as soon as possible if delays are likely.

  • Stage 3 – Final response

If we don’t reach a resolution following the previous two stages, we’ll send your complaint to our Corporate Review team. They’ll work with the relevant department, do another investigation and give you a final response.

If our Corporate Review team decides no further action is necessary, unless you raise any new information, we will consider your complaint closed.

In some circumstances, we can’t deal with your complaint under our customer complaints process. In these cases, we’ll redirect it to the appropriate team and let you know that we’ve done this.

This is usually in circumstances where you have a statutory right of appeal or we have established a separate formal review mechanism or formal policy for dealing the issues you raise.

Stage 3

This stage is only available to complainants who remain dissatisfied once Stage 1 and Stage 2 are exhausted.

A complainant should then request the Adjudication by writing to the Secretariat:

Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS)

Care of CEDR - Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution

International Dispute Resolution Centre

70 Fleet Street

London EC4Y 1EU

Tel: 020 7536 6091

Email: info@iscas.org.uk

This written request for adjudication must be made within 6 months of the final determination by the IDF at Stage 2. The complainant at Stage 3 should provide reasons to explain the dissatisfaction with the outcome of Stage 2. The ISCAS Secretariat will seek confirmation from the IDF that Stage 2 has been completed.

The lSCAS Secretariat will notify the IDF of a request for Stage 3 within ten days. The Secretariat will then be the main contact for the complainant once Adjudication is started. A complainant accessing this service will be asked to consent to release of records from the Clinic and the IDF relevant to the complaint and a report will be made to the complainant, the Clinic and the IDF.

Additional information for patients about ISCAS can be found at: https://iscas.cedr.com/

The Care Quality Commission

Some healthcare services are required to be registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which regulates Health and Adult Social Care Services. The CQC does not investigate complaints but considers relevant information about practices providing regulated activities within the terms of the legislation. They can be contacted at:

CQC National Correspondence

Citygate

Gallowgate

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE14PA