Whilst we are always pleased to receive comments in appreciation of our services, we acknowledge that we do not always get it right.
Our aim is to provide the highest standards of service and we welcome your comments and suggestions to assist us in achieving this.
We have adopted the NHS Complaints Procedure to ensure you can complain about anything to do with services provided by First Care Ambulance.
Who can complain?
You can complain if you are a patient or if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by something a First Care Ambulance service or a First Care Ambulance staff member has done or not done. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have his or her permission in writing.
What is the time limit for making a complaint?
As soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you are complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.
The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it’s still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension is possible when it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.
Will my complaint be kept confidential?
Yes. We assure you that your care and service provision will not be negatively affected by the fact that you have made a complaint. Records of complaints will not be held with any booking records.
What if I have a concern or question?
If you find that staff taking care of you cannot help you, or you are not comfortable speaking with them, you can contact a First Care Ambulance Complaints Resolution Officer on 01392 438522.
A First Care Ambulance Complaints Resolution Officer is able to provide on-the-spot advice and support for patients, relatives and carers.
A First Care Ambulance Complaints Resolution Officer acts independently from front line colleagues when handling the concerns of a patient or a patient’s representative. They liaise with staff, managers or relevant organisations to negotiate immediate or prompt solutions.
How to complain
First, please ask to speak to a member of staff as soon as you can. This will be the Ambulance Care Assistant or Driver. They will listen to your concerns and take action to ensure these are investigated and addressed as appropriate.
However, if you would prefer to make a written complaint you can write to us at First Care Complaints Manager, Unit 16/17 Kestrel Way, Kestrel Business Park, Sowton, Exeter, EX2 7JS if you prefer you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next?
When we receive your complaint we assess which services are involved and identify who should lead the fact finding. We will contact you to acknowledge the complaint and offer other services that may be able to help with your complaint.
We will outline and agree a likely timescale for completion of our investigation and the reply to you.
When a member of staff telephones you on receipt of your complaint they will:
* Verify the complaint issues that you want investigating.
* Offer details of local free of charge and independent Advocacy Services.
* Establish the investigation time required and agree a timescale for completion of the investigation.
* Consider meeting you or writing in response to your complaint.
If you do not provide a telephone contact we will write to you outlining the investigation time required and the investigation plan. Where appropriate we will offer you an early face-to-face meeting with the relevant staff to discuss your concerns. We have found this to be very useful in resolving issues early on.
Where can I get more advice and help?
Making a complaint can be daunting, but help is available from our team.
In addition to this, independent advice can be sought from local advocacy services. Unfortunately, there is no single national services, however, further information can be got from our First Care Ambulance Complaints Manager who will be able to provide you will all the necessary information. Please call them on 01392 438522.
These advocacy agencies support anyone wishing to make a complaint about NHS care or treatment. This independent and confidential support is provided free of charge.