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Know How the Process Works

Stage 1

Consumer contacts the OCCS to discuss the complaint

The OCCS will confirm with the consumer and discuss what has happened and what has been done to try and resolve the complaint so far

The OCCS will also review the complaint to ensure that it is appropriate for the complaint to be mediated by the OCCS

The consumer will need to provide a signed consent form to allow the optician to release their records and any personal information held

We will then speak to the optician and see if the complaint can be resolved immediately

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Stage 2

If it cannot be resolved and is appropriate forum, then the OCCS will make enquiries, which include obtaining copies of optical records

If there is any delay in gathering all the relevant information, the OCCS will update the consumer and/or the optician

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Stage 3

The OCCS will then review the information and establish what has happened

The OCCS will confirm the details with both the consumer and the optician. At this stage, the OCCS will help those involved to find a solution

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Stage 4

If an agreement can be reached, then a time-frame will be set to then implement that solution

This should be done within 45 days of the complaint being accepted by the OCCS

The OCCS will then review the complaint and ask for feedback

If a resolution cannot be agreed, the consumer will be given the option of accepting the optician’s response or for the complaint to be passed to a senior mediator

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Stage 5

The circumstances of the complaint will be considered by a senior mediator - the consumer and the optician will be informed

This will be done within 10 days of referring the complaint to the senior mediator

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Stage 6

The senior mediator will then come back to the consumer and the optician and try to mediate a resolution

This will be done within 14 days of referring the complaint to the senior mediator

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Stage 7

If an agreement can be reached, then a time-frame will be set to then implement that solution

This will be done within three weeks of referring the complaint to the senior mediator

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Stage 8

If an agreement cannot be reached, the senior mediator will confirm this to the consumer and the optician and then advise that the OCCS process is concluded

The OCCS will then review the complaint and ask for feedback

2016-17 has been an incredibly busy year for the OCCS. As practices become more aware of what we do, and consumers learn more about the service, we have seen an increase of 45% in complaint enquiries. There are over 22 million sight tests and eye examinations each year. The overwhelming majority of these are an efficient and positive experience for the consumer and the practice. The OCCS is here to help when a complaint arises and on the rare occasion, that the consumer’s concerns cannot be resolved. Just over half of the enquiries received concern complaints at an early stage and we encourage the consumer to raise their concerns with the practice. If matters cannot be resolved, we are here and I am incredibly proud of the OCCS team’s commitment and dedication to helping find a resolution for both parties. The 2016-17 OCCS Annual Report is now available and provides more information on the OCCS activity during 2016-17 and what we can learn from these complaints and enquiries going forward.