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The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Wales) Regulations 2004

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Further requirements for complaints procedures

94.—(1) A complaints procedure shall also comply with the requirements set out in sub-paragraphs (2) to (6).

(2) The contractor must nominate —

(a)a person (who need not be connected with the contractor and who, in the case of an individual, may be specified by the person’s job title) to be responsible for the operation of the complaints procedure and the investigation of complaints; and

(b)a partner, or other senior person associated with the contractor, to be responsible for the effective management of the complaints procedure and for ensuring that action is taken in the light of the outcome of any investigation.

(3) All complaints must be —

(a)either made or recorded in writing;

(b)acknowledged in writing within the period of two working days beginning with the day on which the complaint was made or, where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable; and

(c)properly investigated.

(4) Within the period of 20 working days beginning with the day on which the complaint was received by the person specified under sub-paragraph (2)(a) or, where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable, the complainant must be given a written summary of the investigation and its conclusions.

(5) Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, the person specified under sub-paragraph (2) (a) must inform the patient or person acting on the patient’s behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the contractor or an employee of the contractor.

(6) The contractor must keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records must be kept separate from patients' medical records.

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