How do I make a comment about a service?

It is not the intention of any healthcare professional to do harm or cause distress and community pharmacists and their team are no different in that regard. The strive for professional excellence and delivering great patient care is at the heart of what being a professional is all about.

However, on rare occasions things can go wrong and then, quite rightly, patients or their carers should feel able to complain so that things can, wherever possible, be put right quickly and the individuals and organisations concerned can learn from the situation.

We would always encourage anyone who is unhappy with the service received to talk directly with the person responsible for delivering that service in the first instance. Local resolution is often the best and quickest way of reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

Should that not resolve the matter, then each community pharmacy will each have a formal complaints procedure that you can ask for details of.

It is a requirement of pharmacy regulations that each community pharmacy has arrangements in place for handling complaints. This includes having a named ‘responsible person’ (usually the Chief Executive of a large company or the partner or owner in a smaller business) although it is usual that another person (the Complaints Manager) will take on the function of the responsible person to expedite complaint handling.

A comprehensive guide to complaint handling in community pharmacy is available here;

http://psnc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PSNC-Briefing-091.13-NHS-Complaints-Procedure.pdf

There is a broader set of guidance on making complaints about the NHS in England here;

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/complaints-and-feedback/Pages/nhs-complaints.aspx

Members of the public, other professionals and employers can also raise concerns about the professional performance and conduct vof a registrant (pharmacist or pharmacy technician) with the General Pharmaceutical Council. Guidance on what can be raised and how to go about it are available in the guidance available her:

http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/raising-concerns

Remember, it is also possible to leave positive comments about the care and service received at your local community pharmacy. This can be done either directly, to the customer care department of the organisation concerned, or by leaving a comment on the NHS Choices web page of the pharmacy.

http://www.nhs.uk/aboutNHSChoices/aboutnhschoices/termsandconditions/Pages/commentspolicy.aspx