Few of us like to complain but if we do not speak up others may have to suffer the same treatment. In the end constructive complaints help services and treatments improve.
You can make a complaint in a number of ways:
- Face to face
- By telephone
- In a letter
- By email
If you choose to complain face to face or by telephone, make a note of the time, date, name of the person you spoke to and a brief record of what the conversation involved. If you send a letter or e-mail, keep a copy for your records.
Before making a complaint, take time to think about exactly what the want to say. It is a good idea to plan this, so that you can state your case clearly.
When making a complaint the following information should be included:
- Personal contact details
- Details of who or what the complaint is about
- Where and when event that caused their complaint happened
- What outcome you would like from your complaint – for example, would you like an apology/explanation or are you hoping that the HSC can better their services for the future
It is extremely important that you are clear and concise when making the complaint.
Try to resolve your concerns immediately by speaking to a member of staff dealing with your treatment or care. You should make their complaint as soon as possible after the event they are complaining about has happened.
The time limit for complaints is usually:
- Six months from the date the event occurred, or
- Six months from the date that you first became aware of it but no more than 12 months after the event.
The time limit can be extended where it would be unreasonable to expect you to have complained in time, for example, because of grief or trauma. It must, however, still be possible to investigate the complaint.