Working with doctors Working for patients

Comments and complaints for subject access and information requests

Introduction

We're committed to giving a high standard information access service to everyone we come into contact with. But, sometimes things do go wrong or people don't get the information they expected.

What is a complaint?

We believe it's important to respond to any expression of dissatisfaction about our handling of subject access or information requests. In all cases, complaints will be:

  • investigated thoroughly
  • treated confidentially
  • dealt with promptly and politely.

How can I make a complaint or comment about the service or information I've received?

If you have any comments or concerns about any aspect of our service, we'd like to hear from you. As well as learning from any complaints we receive, listening to your feedback is key to improving our procedures and standards. Similarly, if you feel we have got things right please let us know so we can make sure we maintain our good practices. Please send all comments to the Information Access Manager at the address below.

Please address your comments or concerns to:

Julian Graves
Information Access Manager
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Manchester
M3 3AW

Tel: 0161 923 6365
Fax 0161 923 6201
Email: foi@gmc-uk.org

It would be helpful if you could include:

  • your name, address, reference number from your correspondence and how you would like us to contact you
  • details about what has led to your complaint
  • the name of the person you were dealing with
  • what you feel we can do to put things right

We'll respond to your complaint and provide you with a full response within 20 working days of receiving it. If your complaint is complex, we may need longer to investigate it. Where this is the case, we'll write to you within 20 working days to tell you why the delay has happened and when we expect to give you a full reply.

If your complaint is about information we have withheld from you and the Information Access Manager was involved in making that decision, another person will deal with your complaint. This is to make sure the review of our decision is independent. The other person involved will have relevant knowledge of the legislation and be able to assess your complaint appropriately.

What happens if I'm not satisfied with the response?

If you're not satisfied with our response you can raise your concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is the independent public body that oversees compliance with the both the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You can contact the Information Commissioner's Office at any time, but they might ask you to resolve your complaint through our procedures first.

The contact details for the Information Commissioner are:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Website: www.ico.org.uk
Email: casework@ico.org.uk

How we monitor and review complaints

Any information sent to us as part of a comment or complaint will remain confidential. Only staff directly involved with the complaint resolution will access the facts of the case.

Your complaint or feedback will be recorded and stored for an appropriate length of time. By keeping a record, we can document the nature of the correspondence and the action we’ve taken. We monitor trends to help us to assess and improve our overall service. Any monitoring reports we produce don't contain any personal information.

From time-to-time, this policy is reviewed by our Information Policy and Information Access teams. They make sure the policy takes into account any feedback we've received, along with emerging good practice, and implement any legal directions that have come into force.