Feedback & Complaints Resolution Policy
Your Feedback Matters
At Medbelle, we not only want to provide you with a smooth and personalised service and excellent overall care but we are also actively committed to improving surgical outcomes for our patients over time. We do this in several ways:
- Outcome data: One of our aims as a healthcare provider is to actively work towards improving outcomes for patients. This all starts with collecting data through medical questionnaires. In healthcare, this is already widely in place for orthopaedic treatments in the form of PROMs (Patient-Reported Outcome Measures) questionnaires.
- Net Promoter Score: This allows us to measure your satisfaction with your overall experience as well as highlighting any specific feedback that patients wish to highlight.
- Trustpilot and/or Google Reviews: This allows patients to share their feelings about their experience on independent platforms. We, of course, analyse and take on all patient feedback to improve our service in any way we can.
- Medbelle Complaints Process: as outlined below, we have a well-structured process that allows all patients to raise any concerns/complaints that they have so that we can manage them appropriately.
At Medbelle, we consider every complaint with utmost seriousness and address it according to our Company Complaints Policy. In addition to resolving your specific issue, we value your feedback and learn from your experience to enhance our service for the future.
We are committed to promptly handling any problems that may arise and encourage you to communicate your concerns with your Patient Care Adviser (PCA). Should you decide to escalate the matter, your next course of action is to lodge a formal complaint. You have the option to do this in writing.
Capitalised terms defined in the General Terms and Conditions have, unless expressly defined in this document, the same meaning in this document.
Please note, as set out in the General Terms and Conditions, that Medbelle is owned by Medbelle Global and we provide our services to you as an agent for and on behalf of Medbelle Global.
The Complaints Process
Step One: Talk to us
If you have areas where improvement is needed, you have the option to reach out to your PCA directly through their phone number, or email. We strongly encourage all our patients to initially contact their PCA with any feedback, questions, or concerns they may have. It is advisable to do so as soon as possible since most issues can be resolved swiftly, typically within a few days. You are welcome to communicate with your PCA at any time, starting from the beginning of your journey with us until six months after the occurrence of the problem.
You are also welcome to call our general line on 020 3411 9171. You can ask to speak to your PCA or if they are not available, another member of the care team will be happy to help.
If the resolution provided by your PCA does not meet your satisfaction, our Patient Experience Associate (PEA) will conduct a thorough review of the case and provide you with comprehensive feedback. The PEA will assume responsibility for managing this aspect of your journey and diligently investigate your concern/complaint with the aim of achieving a satisfactory resolution.
Step Two: A Formal Written Review
If a resolution to your concern/complaint was not reached in Step 1 and you wish to proceed to Step 2, then you will be asked to submit your concern/complaint by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The concern/complaint should be made as soon as possible and within 6 months of the date of the event/unsatisfactory response from the PCA/PEA/Team Lead (TL).
Stage two involves a comprehensive examination of the concern/complaint by the Patient Experience and Complaints Manager to assess how it has been handled and whether all aspects of the complaint have been adequately addressed.
The process to follow is:
- Submit your feedback by sending an email to email@example.com
What should be included?
- Detailed description of the nature of your complaint;
- Names and positions of any staff members involved, if known;
- Date(s) when the events occurred;
- Any actions you may have already taken regarding the complaint and
- Suggestions or requests for resolving your complaint.
- Medbelle will acknowledge receipt of your concern/complaint within 3 business days by responding directly by email.
- If the concern/complaint is related to :
- a non-clinical Concern/Complaint or an internal issue at Medbelle:
- We will investigate your concern/complaint by reviewing all relevant records and logged communications.
- We will respond to your concern/complaint by email within 20 business days. We will offer either an apology and resolution or will propose a course of action to work towards a resolution. If an investigation takes longer than 20 days we will update you and provide an anticipated timeframe.
- a clinical or administrative issue at a Hospital or a Surgeon, then
- Medbelle will ask you to raise the complaint directly with the Hospital/Surgeon as they are likely to be better placed to address your concerns - Please refer to “Our Involvement” section below.
- As part of the Hospital’s complaint policy, we want to set clear expectations for patients regarding the resolution timeline. Please note that investigations into complex cases may require thorough examination and analysis, which can result in resolution timelines extending over several months. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
- a non-clinical Concern/Complaint or an internal issue at Medbelle:
In exceptional cases where the complaint is clinical or administrative issue at a Hospital or a Surgeon Medbelle is partnering with: We will liaise with the concerned Hospital/Surgeon, where possible, and we'll provide you with the clinical/hospital feedback once we receive it.
To ensure effective resolution of the raised concerns/complaints, our initial step involves determining the most suitable entities to address the complaint. We will determine whether the complaint is focused on the clinical care received or experience of the patient or whether it is more related to the performance of Medbelle processes or staff. This will determine whether Medbelle takes the lead and follows its own complaints process, or whether the patient is supported in going directly to the provider. In circumstances where it is not clear we will run the two processes in parallel.
In instances where a complaint is clinical in nature or is in relation to the provider or hospital experience, we will suggest raising the complaint directly with the Hospital/Surgeon as they are likely to be better placed to address your concerns. We will happily support you with raising the complaint with the providers should you wish and also to make sure they follow their own process properly.
In some instances we might involve our Private Medical Insurer Partners (PMI Partners), however it's important to know that:
- Medbelle and its PMIs do not undertake investigations of care complaints. It is the responsibility of care providers to address and resolve such complaints as they are best placed to answer the questions raised. However, Medbelle and the PMIs reserve the right to internally review these complaints for the purpose of ensuring quality assurance.
- By agreeing to the terms and conditions, you understand that in certain cases, Medbelle and our PMI may review your concerns or complaints with the hospital or consultant without explicitly seeking your consent. Your Personal Care Adviser (PCA) will keep you informed in situations where consent is required.
- In some instances, our PMI Partners may contact you and may share your concern with the provider/hospital/consultant.
Please keep in mind that it is crucial to submit concerns/complaints as early as possible and within a period of six months from the date of the event. This timeframe allows for the best chance of conducting a thorough investigation. Concerns/complaints received beyond this timeframe may not be eligible for investigation.
Code of Conduct and Behaviour - Medbelle’s Policy
Although Medbelle staff is trained to respond with patience and empathy to the needs of all complainants, there can be times when there is nothing further that can reasonably be done to assist them or rectify a real or perceived problem.
On rare occasions, complainants may act inappropriately towards the staff involved in the investigation of a complaint. Below is the policy Medbelle adopts to make sure complainants adhere to appropriate, non-abusive conduct at all times when communicating with Medbelle staff.
Examples of difficult behaviour include (but are not limited to):
- Persistent refusal to accept a decision made about a complaint and that the complaints process has been fully and properly implemented and exhausted.
- Seeking to prolong contact by changing the substance of a complaint or persistently raising the same or new issues with multiple members of staff not involved in the investigation of the complaint and questions whilst the complaint is already being addressed.
- Unwillingness to accept documented evidence of treatment given as being factual from the surgeon/hospital, e.g. drug records, medical records, and nursing notes.
- Denying receipt of an adequate response despite evidence of correspondence specifically answering questions.
- Refusing to accept that facts can sometimes be difficult to verify when a long period has elapsed.
- Demanding a complaint be investigated but insisting to keep the complainant's identity anonymous and/or refusing to communicate with key persons involved in the complaints incident.
- Refusing to identify the precise issues which the complainant wishes to be investigated, despite reasonable efforts by staff to help him/her specify their concerns, or where the concerns identified are not within the scope of the service to investigate.
- Focusing on a trivial matter to an extent that is out of proportion to its significance and continuing to focus on this point.
- Having, while a complaint has been registered, an excessive number of contacts with the service, placing unreasonable demands on staff, including leaving an excessive number of voicemails or emails or demanding phone calls at any given time.
- Recording meetings or face-to-face/telephone conversations without the prior knowledge and consent of the other parties involved.
- Making unreasonable demands or expectations and failing to accept that these may be unreasonable (e.g. insisting on responses to complaints or inquiries being provided more urgently than is reasonable or normal recognised practice and refusing to engage with and meet/speak directly with the Medbelle or hospital staff, thereby limiting our ability to resolve issues raised).
- Threatening or using actual physical violence towards staff or their families or associates at any time - this will in itself cause personal contact with the complainant or his/her representatives to be discontinued, and the complaint will, thereafter, only be pursued through written communication.
- Harassing or being abusive or verbally aggressive on more than one occasion towards staff dealing with the complaint or their families or associates, including the use of social media, i.e. seeking to contact staff involved outside of the working environment or obtaining personal information via social media channels to intimidate staff.
Medbelle’s Response Policy
If any of the above unacceptable behaviour is demonstrated by the complainant, then the below actions will be taken by Medbelle:
- Where a complaint investigation is ongoing - the Patient Experience and Complaints Manager (PECM) will write to the complainant to set parameters as per the code of behaviour. If these terms are contravened, the complaint investigation may be placed on hold, and consideration may be taken to implement other actions until safe and amenable conditions under which the investigation can proceed are re-established.
- Where a complaint investigation is complete - at an appropriate stage, the PECM will write a letter/email informing the complainant that:
- we have responded fully to the points raised, and
- have tried to resolve the complaint, and
- there is nothing more that can be added; therefore, the correspondence is now at an end.
- state that future emails/letters will be acknowledged but not answered.
- In extreme cases, Medbelle reserves the right to cease and terminate the patient’s contract if they or any other related person engage in abusive, obscene, deceptive or fraudulent behaviour in either verbal and/or written communication with Medbelle staff. Medbelle also reserves the right to take legal action against the complainant when deemed necessary.
- Resuming regular interactions - Once complainants have ceased the concerned behaviour, and the PECM deems that safe and amenable conditions have been reestablished, the investigation and communication as per the code of behaviour may resume.
At Medbelle, we use discretion in identifying “difficult” behaviour; discretion will similarly be used when recommending that the concerned behaviour has ceased.