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NHS Complaints Policy


As a GOS contractor we are obliged to operate the NHS complaints system in accordance with regulations and with our contract with the NHS England Area Team regarding the provision of GOS and other (but not private) locally commissioned primary eye care services. We seek to resolve complaints in good faith and treat complainants appropriately. 


A complaint about our NHS service may be made directly to us or via the NHS Frimley ICB Complaints Team.  If the complaint about us is made to ICB, NHS FRIMLEY ICB  is obliged to consider the complaint and can decide to handle the complaint itself. Alternatively,NHS FRIMLEY ICB, with the complainant’s consent, refer the complaint to us for resolution. This is the course of action recommended in most circumstances by Department of Health guidance. We are obliged to deal with the complaint in accordance with the law and to cooperate with the NHS FRIMLEY ICB Complaints Team.  Whether the complaint is made directly to us or via the Complaints Team, we must acknowledge receipt of the complaint within three working days, either orally or in writing.

Note that, for the purpose of operating the NHS complaint system, a complaint:

  • Must relate to GOS or a locally commissioned service only.
  • Can include the issuing of optical vouchers.
  • Is not a complaint, if it is made orally and is resolved within 24 hours.
  • Is not a complaint, if it concerns dispensing services or spectacles or lenses which are entirely private arrangements.
  • A complaint may not refer to a failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (dealt with by a separate procedure). 
  • Nor may a complaint relate to a subject which has already been dealt with as a complaint and been resolved. 
  • Must be made within 12 months of the date, on which the matter which is the subject of the complaint occurred or came to the complainant’s notice.
  • Overall responsibility for complaints management lies with the Directors.

The Directors will ensure:

  • Complaints are dealt with efficiently and are properly investigated.
  • Complainants are treated courteously, fairly, expeditiously, and appropriately.
  • Patients are informed of the outcome of the investigation of their complaint.
  • Action is taken in the light of the outcome of the investigation if necessary.
  • NHS service complaints are reported to the commissioner as required by the contract. This information will also be used within annual reports from the board.


The Director’s Procedure for Managing Complaints

Acknowledge – All complaints will be acknowledged by the Directors within 3 working days.

Discuss – The Director will offer to discuss with the complainant how and when they intend to investigate and resolve the complaint at the time of the acknowledgement  If the complainant refuses this offer, the complaints manager will advise the complainant in writing how long it is likely to take them to respond following the investigation of the substance of the complaint (the ‘response period’).

Inform – The Director will endeavour to keep the complainant informed of the progress of the investigation.  

Resolve – As soon as possible after completing the investigation, the complaints manager will advise the complainant in writing how they have considered the complaint and what they propose to do to resolve the complaint and any consequent action.  This will be done within 10 working days where possible. They will also inform the complainant of their right to pursue the complaint with ICB. Complaints should be sent to: NHS Frimley ICB  Aldershot Centre for Health,  Hospital Hill, ALdershot Hants  GU11 1AY . Phone Number 0300 561 0290  Email Please state:  ‘For the attention of the complaints manager’ in the subject heading or tel: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English bank holidays).

Record – Every complaint will be recorded in the Complaint Log (see Annex).

In situations where a complaint develops into a serious incident – particularly when a patient becomes harmed or otherwise deemed at risk – the Company’s serious incident policy will be activated.