• Case ref:
    201201613
  • Date:
    January 2013
  • Body:
    A Practice in the Lanarkshire NHS Board area
  • Sector(s):
    Health
  • Subject:
    communication, staff attitude, dignity, confidentiality
  • Outcome:
    Some upheld, recommendations

Summary

Mr C complained that he was prescribed the wrong dosage of his medication and that clear instructions were not given as to how many tablets he could take at a time. The practice provided us with copies of their records, clearly showing the appropriate dosage and instructions attaching to Mr C's prescription. We found no documentary evidence to support Mr C's account of events and we did not uphold the complaint. Mr C also said that he mistakenly received a letter from the practice about test results and complained that the practice had not explained why this had been sent. The practice confirmed that the letter was not intended for Mr C but, for data protection reasons, they could not offer an explanation to him. However, they provided us with sufficient information to satisfy us that there had been no administrative error and we did not uphold the complaint.

Mr C also complained that a meeting was set up for him to discuss his complaint with the practice manager and one of the doctors. He said that when he turned up the doctor did not know why he was there and the practice manager was not in attendance. Upon reviewing the records, we noted that the practice manager had documented that she set up this consultation for Mr C to discuss his medication with the doctor. It, therefore, appeared that both parties had differing recollections of the purpose of the meeting. We had no way of reconciling these different interpretations and we did not uphold the complaint. Finally, Mr C complained about the practice's handling of his complaint. We found that they failed to respond to him within the timeframe set out in their complaints procedure. We acknowledged that this may not always be possible but considered that Mr C should have been kept up to date. This did not happen and we, therefore, upheld the complaint.

Recommendations

We recommended that the practice:

  • review their complaints procedure in order to ensure that, where complaint investigations are likely to take longer than their published timescales, they notify complainants of this and provide a revised target response date.