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SPS Complaints Procedure

Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services (BSPS) prides itself in delivering high quality services to patients and service users. Unfortunately, there are occasions when the provision of services may fail to meet the quality expectations of our users. When this occurs and a subsequent complaint is raised by a service user we will take a positive approach to the management and resolution of the concerns identified.

The information outlined provides the process for the management of complaints received with regard to pathology services provided by BSPS and provides assurance to our service users and those acting on their behalf that their concerns and complaints are promptly acknowledged, undergo thorough investigation and that effective corrective actions are taken to prevent future recurrence. 

BSPS manages Pathology Services across four NHS Foundation Trusts (Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust; Ashford and St Peters NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Berkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and it is essential that where complaints are identified and communicated from individual Trusts’ Patient Advice and Liaison Services, Complaints Departments, GP Liaison Services, GP contracts team, clinical teams, patients and staff that the investigation, actions taken and responses communicated provide transparency and honesty with investigation outcomes, actions taken and lessons learned. 

The complaints management process recognises the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman’s (PHSO), Local Government Ombudsman and Healthwatch and promotes the NHS constitution.  A blame culture is not conducive to learning from complaints but it is by providing a just culture that continual improvement of services for our users is promoted.  Within the complaints management process all BSPS staff are supported and given every opportunity to respond to the issues that are raised by our service users.

Patient complaints may be communicated directly to key contacts for each department, individual Trust Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS), Trust Complaints Departments at each Trust site or through their GP.  Complaints received are escalated in accordance with the BSPS Complaints Management Procedure, investigated and a response issued within 25 days working days in accordance with the originating Trusts’ complaints management policy.

Complaints received from GPs, CCGs or from Trust GP Liaison Services are escalated to key contacts as identified and investigated and responses issued in accordance with the BSPS Complaints Management Procedure within 25 working days.

Staff complaints when raised are investigated and managed within the Trust Human Resources polices.

A copy of the BSPS Complaints Procedure is available from the BSPS Lead Quality Manager Elaine.Inglis1@nhs.net