Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service Complaints Procedure
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an objection or an expression of discontent. It may involve the handling, guidance or treatment by an employee of Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service. We cannot process complaints about GPs or hospital staff, which should be referred to the appropriate institutions or authorities.
Who can submit a complaint?
Anyone can submit a complaint. If you are unable to submit a complaint yourself, you can appoint a representative to submit it for you. For example, a spouse, parent, child, sibling, guardian, mentor, agent, or other representative. If you wish to appoint a third-party to complain on your behalf, we would be grateful to receive a written and signed statement authorizing the person in question as your representative. If the complainant dies, the person’s next of kin can register or continue to pursue the complaint.
What happens with your complaint?
The Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service Complaints Officer receives your complaint. The officer will assess whether all necessary information is available. If something is unclear, we will ask you to provide additional information.
Please note: we register anonymous complaints, but do not process them.
The Complaints Officer will, in the first instance, assess the admissibility of your complaint. Has it been addressed to the correct party and does it meet the acceptance requirements? If the complaints officer considers that a complaint may be inadmissible, the officer will request that the chairperson of the Complaints Committee determines how to proceed (see the Complaints Committee paragraph for more information). If your complaint is not taken into consideration, you will always receive notification setting out the reasons for the decision.
The complaints procedure
The steps after submission of the complaint:
- You will receive confirmation of the receipt of your complaint as soon as possible.
- Your complaint will be investigated and you will receive further notice from the complaints officer of the Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service.
- The supervisor of the employee against whom you have made your complaint will contact you in order to come to a satisfactory solution for all parties.
- You will receive a letter setting out what has been discussed and agreed.
If you are not satisfied with the result, you can request further information or request the consideration of the Regional Public Health Service (RDOG) Complaints Committee or the national arbitration board.
The Complaints Committee
The Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service falls under the jurisdiction of the Complaints Committee of the Hollands Midden Regional Public Health Service (RDOG HM).
The RDOG HM Complaints Committee works discreetly and impartially. The committee consists of a chairperson, a minimum of two members, and a secretary. The chairperson and members are independent and have no ties to the organization. The RDOG HM appoints the secretary. The client advisory board approves the composition and is part of the Complaints Committee.
What are the Complaints Committee procedures?
If this has not happened at an earlier stage, the chairperson shall first determine the admissibility of your complaint.
- The Complaints Committee shall offer you the opportunity to explain your complaint both verbally and in writing.
- The accused employee may be present during the hearing, unless you object.
- The accused employee is given the opportunity to present his or her case.
- The Complaints Committee may decide to consult experts from inside or outside the organization.
- After the investigation, the Complaints Committee shall produce a written decision, setting out its reasoning, on the merits of your complaint.
Finalizing the complaints process
The Complaints Committee shall issue its guidance to the management board of RDOG HM, containing its judgment of the merits of the complaint, and any recommendations for measures to be taken. The complainant, the person or people whom the complaint concerns, and the management of the organization by whom they are employed, shall receive the Complaints Committee’s adjudication. The management of the RDOG shall then notify the complainant in writing of any measures taken. This is the end of the complaints process within our organization using the Complaints Committee.
If you disagree with the decision of the Complaints Committee, you can submit your complaint to the Ambulance Service Arbitration Board. You can find information on www.degeschillencommissiezorg.nl on which complaints are eligible for consideration by the arbitration board, and the relevant procedures and requirements. You are, of course, also able to submit your complaint to other bodies such as the National Ombudsman or the Civil Court of the Regional Disciplinary Tribunal. For information about these procedures, please refer to information provided by the South Holland Patient Organization (Zorgbelang Zuid-Holland) on www.zorgbelang-zuidholland.nl. If you start a complaints procedure elsewhere, we would appreciate it if you would inform us.
The Complaints Committee does not make judgments on damages. Such cases must be brought before the arbitration board or the civil courts.
Legal assistance and costs
If you want to know your patient rights, please contact the South Holland Patient Organization (Zorgbelang Zuid-Holland). This organization works independently of care providers and healthcare institutions. Both Zorgbelang and the Complaints Committee handle your privacy with care and have a confidentiality obligation. You can find contact information for Zorgbelang on www.zorgbelang-zuidholland.nl. The submission and consideration of your complaint is free of charge. If you require additional assistance from a lawyer or other expert, you (or your insurance) will have to cover their costs yourself.
Why a complaints procedure?
The Netherlands is subject to the Quality, Complaints and Disputes in Health Care Act (WKKGZ). This means that every care provider is obliged to affiliate with an arbitration board. In order to provide optimal service in case of a complaint, Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service has also appointed a complaints officer. Although we do our utmost to deliver the best possible care, complaints can still arise. If you have a suggestion or a complaint, we want to hear from you. With your help, we can continue to improve our services.
Hollands Midden Regional Ambulance Service is affiliated with the Ambulance Service Arbitration Board.