Feedback and complaints policy

We hope that you will find Patient Opinion a safe, easy to use and helpful service for giving or receiving feedback about health and social care services.

However, if your experience of our service has caused you concern or frustration, please let us know. We want to learn from your experience so that we can learn and improve.

There are a number of ways you can raise your concerns with us.

1: Contact us directly

If you contact us directly we may be able to resolve your concern very quickly.

Sometimes we make mistakes, or misunderstand something. Sometimes our site doesn’t work properly, or there may be a way we could improve what we do. We will always try to put things right quickly if we can.

You can contact us, during normal office hours, by phone, email or post. The details are on our contact page.

2: Post your feedback on Patient Opinion

Just as you can post feedback about your care on Patient Opinion, you can also post feedback about our service too.

You can see feedback people have posted about Patient Opinion here:

https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/services/patientopinion

This feedback is public, and we will respond to it in public too. This is a good option if you feel that others might find your feedback or our response interesting or helpful.

For example, if you wanted to ask about why Patient Opinion does things the way it does, or suggest changes to our policies or practices in general, this would be a good place to put your question.

3: Make a formal complaint

We understand that sometimes the best thing is to make a formal complaint. For example, this may be the best thing to do if:

  • Your concern cannot be made public. For example, if you are concerned about confidentiality or staff defamation, you may need to make a complaint
  • You are concerned that Patient Opinion is operating illegally or unethically
  • You feel that Patient Opinion may have caused harm to you or someone else
  • You need a formal organisational response from Patient Opinion

How to make a formal complaint

You can send us a formal complaint in writing (by email or by post), or as an audio/video recording (as a file, or on a CD/DVD).

Please address any complaint to the Chief Executive, Patient Opinion, using the details on our contact page.

Please note that you cannot send a formal complaint about a health or social care service to us. We cannot process a formal complaint about your own care. We can only process a complaint about Patient Opinion itself.

You will need to provide some important information so that we can investigate your complaint and respond to you. We will need:

  • The details of your complaint
  • Your real name
  • Your email address, your postal address, and any other way you would like us to contact you
  • If your complaint is about a story, response, or something else on Patient Opinion, please include the link to the relevant page

How we will respond to a formal complaint

When we receive a formal complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, in writing, within 4 working days. This acknowledgement will include:

  • the name, location and email address of the person who will investigate the complaint
  • the date we will start the investigation

We will provide a written response to your complaint, within 21 working days of the start of the investigation, from the person investigating the complaint. Our response will include:

  • Details of our investigation
  • Our decision about whether your complaint was upheld or not
  • Our reasons for the decision
  • The redress, if appropriate, which we will offer you. For example, an apology, additional help, or directing to other sources of advice or support
  • Any other action that we will take as a result of your complaint
  • If we are not able to provide a full answer to your complaint within 21 working days, we will explain why, and give a date by which we expect to be able to respond in full

We will share all formal complaints we receive with Patient Opinion’s board of directors. The board will ensure that, following a complaint, we make any necessary changes to our policies and procedures.

How to make a formal complaint of defamation

If you feel you have been defamed by a story or response published by Patient Opinion, please let us know.

If you wish to make a formal complaint of defamation, we will need the following information, in accordance with Section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013, or similar legislation in other countries of the UK:

  • Your name and email address
  • A link to the page on the website where the statement you are complaining about is posted
  • What the statement you are complaining about says, and why it is defamatory of you
  • What meaning you attribute to the statement you are complaining about
  • The aspects of the statement which you believe are factually inaccurate, or opinions not supported by fact
  • Confirmation that you do not have sufficient information about the person who posted the statement to bring proceedings against that person
  • Confirmation of whether you consent to your name and/or email address being provided to the person who posted the statement

You can find further information on the regulations relating to defamation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269138/defamation-guidance.pdf