There is an onus on Health Boards to provide a high quality and professional service at all times. If you are unhappy with any aspect of this service it is important to let the Health Board know so that they can try to resolve it. Every service should have a documented complaints and appeals procedure, which will assist you.
Each Board has their own particular procedure. The following are broad guidelines for making a complaint based on the Eastern Regional Health Authority policy. Although other Board’s policies may be different they should in general be consistent with what is outlined below. If you are unhappy with your service you should:
·This procedure should provide you with the name of a local Complaints Manager. You should address your complaint in writing to this person.
·Directly inform the professional responsible locally. They may be unaware of your dissatisfaction. If you still feel aggrieved then you should request a copy of complaints procedures for the service involved.
·Your complaint should be acknowledged, treated confidentially and investigated thoroughly. You should receive a decision within four weeks. Sometimes cases take longer to resolve but you should be advised of progress.
·If you are unhappy with the decision of the local manager then the complaints policy should contain the name of a senior manager at the Health Board’s head offices. In the ERHA region this person is the Director of Customer Services and Appeals. If you are not happy with the Board’s final response then you should contact the: Office of Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Tel (01) 6785222. The Ombudsman is independent of the Health Boards. NB Remember that the only way a service can be improved is if the provider is informed about problems.
Health Service Executive (HSE)
The Health Service Executive (HSE) took over full operational responsibility for running the country's health and personal social services on January 1, 2005.