This process details the steps to followed when dealing with any complaints and concerns which are raised ensuring ICG Medical and all its brands handle each situation with confidence and fairness and ensure all parties are aware of the outcome.
1. Receipt of a complaint / concern
All complaints/concerns received by phone, letter, email or in person must be directed to the Head of Nursing who will add the complaint details to the central complaints system.
Where necessary the worker may be suspended completely from work at the discretion of the Head of Nursing. Where the client requests the agency nurse does not work with them until the complaint is resolved, the Head of Nursing will ensure the worker and the booking team are informed and systems amended to enforce this exclusion.
2. Investigation of the complaint
The Head of Nursing or someone identified by the Head of Nursing will contact the complainant and the worker concerned to always conduct a fair and sensitive investigation.
All complaints will be initially responded to with 2 days of receiving the complaint by the Head of Nursing
- The Head of Nursing’s Office will attempt to resolve the issue informally depending on the clinical nature of the issue.
- The candidate / worker will be informed of the outcome of the investigation by the ICG Head of Nursing office in writing
- The Head of Nursing office will update NWC/VDQ with the outcome and ensure the relevant team manager is also informed of the outcome
- If the client accepts the informal resolution, then no further action is required providing the staff member does not present a further risk to patients/colleagues.
- The outcome of the complaint will be notified to the client, worker and the complaint closed on the Complaints System.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved to the client’s satisfaction in stage 1, then the Head of Nursing will commence a formal investigation and move to stage 2 of the procedure.
- A balanced approach will be taken to handling the complaint/concern providing both an account of what happened and, where appropriate, actions taken. The response will be focused on the specific issues raised by the client. In particular where there has been a service failing or a clinical practice issue e.g., drug administration error, a clear apology and an account of corrective actions taken (or that will be taken) will be provided within associated time frames.
- Where the client is dissatisfied because their expectations are greater than the agreed standards and/or entitlement for service delivery, this will be clearly explained.
- The client will be assured that the information provided through their complaint/concern will be used to assist us to identify future priorities and will also be used as an opportunity for further involvement in service planning and consultation where appropriate.
Stage 2 Response
- The Stage 2 response will be sent to the client once all investigations are complete. The response will be presented in the pre-agreed manner with the client. This in some cases will be a statement and training records. In other cases the response will give an overview of the complaint/concern and will provide the client with the findings from the investigation and action taken as a result.
- The Head of Nursing Office will endeavour to investigate and resolve the complaint/concern within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint. If the complaint is not resolved within 10 working days a letter should be sent to the client detailing why the complaint remains unresolved.
- In the event that further supporting information is required from the client (e.g., witness statements, access for the nurse to review patient notes); the information will be requested by the Head of Nursing’s Office from the client. It is expected this will be provided within 10 working days of the date of request for the investigation to continue
- An offer to contact the Head of Nursing for further discussion where the client is satisfied with the response but has further queries or is undecided as to whether to escalate the complaint to Stage 3 will be offered.
- If the client/ complainant does not provide the information requested to be able to fully investigate the complaint within 4 weeks the Head of Nursing will advise the client/complainant that the case will be closed unless there is a legal reason for the delay. Closing the case will generate a letter advising why the case is being closed and that the matter will remain unresolved.
- Any exclusions of the worker in place by the client/complainant will remain.
- Agency brand exclusions will be reviewed and once a risk assessment has been completed by the Head of Nursing to worker will be advised of the outcome and the rationale for this
Why we take this approach:
It is important that the quality of all Stage 2 responses satisfies as many clients as possible and ensure that recourse to Stage 3 complaints/concern is not required. We recognise however that clients may not feel the issue has been resolved and may wish a review to be undertaken.
- If the client is not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they may request a review of the findings and actions.
- An acknowledgement letter will be sent within 2 working days of receiving a complaint by the Head of Nursing or nominated deputy for ICG Medical, who will undertake the review.
Stage 3 Response
- The Stage 3 Response will be sent to the client when an investigation has been completed and made on the most appropriate response to the client.
- The response will give an overview of the complaint/concern and will provide the client with a full response of their findings and recommended actions.
- Complaints/concerns at stage 3 should be responded to within 5 working days from the date they are received. If this timescale cannot be met due to the nature of the complaint/concern, a letter will be sent explaining the delay.
3. Complaints/concerns from temporary workers regarding clients
- Agency Workers will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a member of the Nursing Team who will then advise them how they will handle the issue complaints/concerns may initially be verbal or in writing/via email.
- The person raising the concern will be supported by a named member of the Nursing Team during this process. Where a candidate/ worker is anxious about the complaint/concern, Head of Nursing or a Senior Nurse will use the Whistle Blowing Policy
- The Nursing Team immediately notify the client concerned and request a written statement in response to the complaint. Full written records including all subsequent action and correspondence will be maintained.
- The Nursing Team will discuss an appropriate course of action with both the staff member and the client. This course of action will be followed up and each party kept fully informed of progress or deterioration of the situation. If a solution cannot be reached to the satisfaction of both parties, the nurse will temporarily be removed from their duties and placed with another client.
4. Referral To Professional Body
If referral to the relevant professional body is required, this will be completed and shared with the client by the Head of Nursing. Any redaction will be clearly identified in the copy provided to the client.
Clients and temporary workers in Scotland can also contact the Care Inspectorate with any concerns or complaints they have concerning patient care or the investigation processes. The contact details for the Care Inspectorate are:
Address: 11 Riverside Drive
Clients and temporary workers in Northern Ireland can also contact the Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority with any concerns or complaints they have concerning patient care or the investigation processes. The contact details for the Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority are
REGULATION & QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY
Address: 9th Floor Riverside Tower
5 Lanyon Place