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From our dedicated, state-of-the-art laboratory near Battersea Park we offer the latest in pathology testing solutions across many disciplines including clinical biochemistry, immunology, haematology, sexual health screening and molecular biology.

Feedback & Complaints Policy

As a London Medical Laboratory client your feedback is essential in helping us to continue to improve the services that we provide.

We will strive to provide a response to all feedback provided by clients within 48hrs of receipt and will work to fully resolve any complaints raised promptly. 

We take any complaints very seriously. 

Firstly we strive to provide laboratory services in a way that does not generate complaints however when there are occasions that our systems are overwhelmed or fail in some way to meet the expectations of our clients we will do our best to find a satisfactory conclusion to any inconvenience or any other problem we may have caused you by not providing what you expected from us. 

Please don't ever hesitate to get in touch if there is anything that has disappointed you in the way we carry out our service to you. The best way to get in touch with us is by phone at 020 7183 3718 and/or email at info@londonmedicallaboratory.co.uk

Alternatively you may write to us at:

Feedback - The CQC Manager
London Medical Laboratory
2 Pensbury Street
London
SW8 4TJ

In the interests of candour we have included our entire complaints policy here:

Complaints Policy

1.  INTRODUCTION

This policy outlines procedures and responsibilities within London Medical Laboratory Limited ("the Company ") for handling any concerns, issues or complaints that may arise.

2.  PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that any complaints or concerns by patients are correctly managed.

London Medical Laboratory Limited (LML), although an independent body aspires to meet the principles set out in the NHS Constitution which are:

3.  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The CQC Registered Manager holds overall responsibility for ensuring the development, implementation and operation of this policy regarding complaints. The Registered Manager will also lead and oversee the process of the implementation of this policy, as well as monitoring its compliance and effectiveness.

The CQC Registered Manager will act as the designated complaints manager for the Company. S(he) is:

4.  PRINCIPLES

London Medical Laboratory Limited will:

If a complaint is made orally and is resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction within 24 hours, it need not be responded to formally. 

Complainants must always be made aware that they have the right, should they so wish, to make a complaint formal.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1.  Period within which complaints can be made

The period for making a complaint is normally:

The Company has discretion to vary this time limit if appropriate. i.e. where there is good reason for not making the complaint sooner, or where it is still possible to properly investigate the complaint despite extended delay.

When considering an extension to the time limit it is important that the CQC Registered Manager takes into consideration that the passage of time may prevent an accurate recollection of events by the staff members concerned or by the person bringing the complaint. The collection of evidence, clinical guidelines or other resources relating to the time when the complaint event arose may also be difficult to establish or obtain. These factors may be considered as suitable reason for declining a time limit extension.

6.2.  Action upon receipt of a complaint

Complaints may be received either verbally or in writing.

Verbal complaints:

Wherever possible, complainants should be directed to reception to file a complaint. All verbal complaints, i.e. those made either in person or via telecommunications, must be logged using the Telephone Log sheet available to all customer facing staff.

Written complaints:

All written complaints submitted electronically should go to info@londonmedicallaboratory.co.uk, where they can be reviewed by the CQC Manager. The CQC manager is required to check this inbox every working day.

Complaints submitted via post, must also be brought directly to the  CQC  managers attention. Where a delegate or representative has been appointed and named, they may be notified in place of the CQC manager.

All formal complaints should be brought to the immediate attention of the CQC manager except where a named delegate has been appointed. In this case the named delegate should be made immediately aware of any and all complaints.

The CQC Registered Manager (or his/her named delegate) must:

     i. Acknowledge the complaint within 3 working days verbally or in writing and at the same time,

     ii.  From the discussion, a complaint action plan should be developed.

6.3  Complaints Against the CQC Manager

Any complaints filed against the CQC manager (or his/her named delegate) should go directly to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The e-mail address for the CEO can be found on the company website. The CEO will take the lead in dealing with the complaint by following this document and conducting any investigations pertaining to the complaint in place of the CQC manager. The CEO reserves the right to delegate the task of investigation to an appropriate member of senior management. Under no circumstances can the task be delegated to the CQC manager.

6.4  Complaints Action Plan

If the complainant does not accept the offer of a verbal discussion in an effort to resolve matters, the CQC Registered Manager or someone delegated to act on his/her behalf will notify the complainant in writing of the time period (28 days) within which a response can be expected. If a clear plan and a realistic outcome can be agreed with the complainant from the start, the issue is more likely to be resolved satisfactorily. Having a plan will help the Company to respond appropriately. It also gives the person who is complaining more confidence that the Company is taking their concerns seriously. If someone makes a complaint, the person making the complaint will want to know what is being done and when. However, accurately gauging how long an issue may take to resolve can be difficult, especially if it is a complex matter involving more than one person or organisation. To help judge how long a complaint might take to resolve, it is important to:

In any case, the upper limit for a complaint to be dealt with is 28 days.

6.5  Investigation and Responses to Complaints

During the investigation, the complainant will be kept informed of progress either verbally or in writing as agreed with the complainant.

The target date for investigating and responding to a written complaint is 3 days. The response must be signed by the CQC Registered Manager and include:

6.6  Grading of a Complaint

Complaints will be investigated in the first instance by the Administrator Lead who will contact the patient with 48hrs of being notified about a complaint. The Complaints Lead will be notified immediately and all communication will include the Complaints Lead. If the complaints lead is unable to resolve the issue it shall be referred up the chain of management (i.e. CEO and/or Medical Director) as necessary to reach a satisfactory outcome for the complainant with the complainant been informed of a new timeline for resolution.

When the complaint is first received it will be graded as follows:

6.7  Escalation of a Complaint

The following routes will be open to patients in the event that a complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved directly with the Company, or by the CEO or Medical Director.

i. Patients can contact the Health Service Ombudsman in the following ways:

ii. NHS patients can refer the matter to the local Commissioning Body (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Group) or the Department Of Health/Secretary Of State For Health.

iii. Seeking assistance from the Patients Association. This is a national health care charity that highlights patients’ concerns and needs. It provides advice aimed at helping people to get the best out of their health care and tells patients where they can get more information and advice. Contact the Patients Association’s helpline on 0845 608 4455 or visit: www.patients- association.org.uk.

iv. Raising the matter with the Care Quality Commission. Telephone: 03000 616161 Email: enquiries@cqc.org.uk Website: www.cqc.org.uk

v. Contact the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS).

IHAS is an organisation that represents many independent health care organisations. It has a code of practice for its members on dealing with patients’ complaints, and it can look into your complaint if you are unhappy with the response you have received from a service. For their contact details, visit their website at www.independenthealthcare.org.uk

vi. Contact the Citizens Advice Service

Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and independent advice from over 3,000 locations, including in their bureaux, GP surgeries, hospitals, colleges, prisons and courts. Advice is available face-to-face and by phone. Contact details are here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/

7.  AUDIT

The operation and effectiveness of this policy will be incorporated into the Company’s ongoing audit programme. As required, anonymised summaries of complaints will be provided to the Care Quality Commission upon request.

8.  DUTY OF CANDOUR

If the complaint is a notifiable incident, as per the Duty of Candour Policy and Procedure, we shall follow that procedure as indicated.

9.  CONFIDENTIALITY

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient's medical records, the CQC Registered Manager or someone designated to act on his/her behalf will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation may involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the company, or an employee/contractor working for the organisation.

10.  UNREASONABLE / VEXACIOUS COMPLAINTS

Where a complainant becomes aggressive or, despite effective complaint handling, unreasonable in their promotion of the complaint, some or all of the following formal provisions will apply and will be communicated to the patient:

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