Complaints in primary care: A snapshot of how complaints procedures work in GP practices across Sefton

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sefton undertook a review of how the complaints process works in primary care. They undertook a survey of GP practices to which 18 practices responded.

The number of complaints made per practice varies, some having less than 5 complaints to some having more than 20 annually. The number of complaints not upheld outweigh those which were. One practice did not think it was possible to define upheld as many of the complaints they received related to not being able to get an appointment/ telephone system.

It was also unclear how complaints were defined.  The majority of practices return their complaints data annually to HSCIC, some informed us that they didn’t.

There were three recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Complaints in primary care: A snapshot of how complaints procedures work in GP practices across Sefton
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sefton
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 September, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 26 May, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 24 June, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.