Klachtenportaal Zorg is an independent body that handles complaints from clients about the care provided by healthcare providers affiliated to Klachtenportaal Zorg. This complaints scheme complies with the requirements set out in the Wkkgz and the Wkkgz Implementation Decree.
Article 1 Definitions
1. In these complaints regulations the following definitions apply:
a. Wkkgz: the Care Quality, Complaints and Disputes Act of 7 October 2015, which came into force on 1 January 2016.
b. Wkkgz Implementation Decree: the decree laying down further rules to implement the Wkkgz, entered into force on 1 January 2016.
c. Care provider: the care provider as referred to in article 1, paragraph 1, of the Wkkgz that is affiliated with Klachtenportaal Zorg.
d. Client: a natural person requesting care or to whom care is provided.
e. Complainant: the person submitting a complaint. This may be a client, the representative or next of kin of a client or a person who was wrongly not considered a representative by the healthcare provider.
f. Complaint: a written expression of dissatisfaction relating to a conduct committed by the healthcare provider towards a client in the context of the provision of healthcare. Conduct also includes an omission.
g. Complaints Officer: the person appointed by his suitability to prepare an opinion at the request of a complainant. The opinion relates to the filing of a complaint. In addition, the complaints officer assists the complainant in formulating the complaint.
The complaints officer also examines the possibilities of reaching a solution to the complaint.
Article 2 Informal resolution and filing a complaint
1. A client with a complaint will preferably first address the healthcare provider in order to reach an informal solution together.
2. A client may also submit the complaint directly to Klachtportaal Zorg. This is also possible after the healthcare provider and the complainant have failed to reach an informal solution. The complaints officer can support the complainant in submitting the complaint.
Article 3 Not dealing with a complaint
- A complaint will only be considered by the Complaints Officer if it is submitted in writing and includes:
- the complainant’s name, address, place of residence and telephone number and, if applicable, an e-mail address;
- a date;
- a clear description of the healthcare provider(s) to whom the complaint relates;
- a clear description of the content of the complaint; e. a clear description of the facts and circumstances to which the complaint relates. 2. For consideration of the dispute, the complaint must be in Dutch.
- The complaint will not be considered if:
- the complaint does not meet the requirements of the first paragraph and the complainant has been given the opportunity to supplement the information within two weeks;
- the representative or next of kin of the client has not submitted the requested documents referred to in Article 2, sixth paragraph, and has been given the opportunity to submit the requested documents within two weeks;
- the complaint was submitted by a person other than those referred to in Article 1, paragraph 1 (e);
- the healthcare provider is not affiliated to Klachtenportaal Zorg;
- a complaint about the same event has been dealt with previously and no new facts or circumstances have occurred thereafter;
- the events that are the subject of the complaint occurred more than one year before the date of the complaint;
- the events that are the subject of the complaint occurred during the period when the healthcare provider was not affiliated with Klachtenportaal Zorg. The complaint can, however, be handled if an agreement has still been reached between Klachtenportaal Zorg and the healthcare provider, whereby it has been agreed that the complaint can still be handled.
Article 4 Transfer and combined handling of complaints
- If the complaint relates to persons other than the healthcare provider, the healthcare provider will ensure that the handling is carefully transferred to the person whose actions the complaint relates to, unless the complainant does not give permission for this.
- If a complaint relates to care provided in conjunction with care, support or assistance provided by another healthcare provider and the complainant has indicated that he has also filed a complaint with that other healthcare provider, the Complaints Officer will consult with the Complaints Officer of that other healthcare provider on how to arrive at a joint handling of the complaint so that substantive justice is done to the relationship between the care provided, unless the complainant does not give his consent.
Article 5 Acknowledgement of receipt
Klachtenportaal Zorg will send a confirmation of receipt of the complaint to the complainant within five working days of receiving the complaint and will contact the complainant by telephone or e-mail.
Article 6 Duties and responsibilities of the Complaints Officer
- The Complaints Officer has the following duties and responsibilities:
- taking up the complaint and making an initial assessment;
- conducting a careful investigation of the complaint and the possibilities of reaching a satisfactory solution;
- assisting the client or the client’s representative in formulating the complaint;
- informing and advising the complainant at his/her request about the possibilities of filing a complaint;
- inform the healthcare provider of the complaint
- keeping the complainant informed of the progress of the handling of the complaint;
- ensuring the reporting of the process of complaint handling and the results;
- referring to the Health Care Disputes Portal, if the complaint has not been resolved and the complainant wishes to continue the procedure.
- In carrying out the task, the Complaints Officer is authorised to do everything that is reasonably necessary for proper guidance of the process of handling a complaint.
- The Complaints Officer will not have access to the treatment file behind the complaint without the prior written consent of the complainant.
- The Complaints Officer operates on the principle of hearing both the complainant and the healthcare provider. The healthcare provider is thereby obliged to cooperate fully in the handling of the complaint.
- The Complaints Officer must act independently and impartially towards the complainant and the healthcare provider. Accordingly, the Complaints Officer must refrain from conduct that could give rise to the suspicion of (the appearance of) bias or not exercising the position independently.
- If the Complaints Officer is or has been involved in a matter to which the complaint relates, or is otherwise unable to perform the function in an independent and impartial manner in an individual case due to circumstances, the Complaints Officer should report this to the healthcare provider as soon as possible. In that case, another Complaints Officer will be appointed.
- The healthcare provider will ensure that the Complaints Officer can perform his function independently and will not disadvantage the Complaints Officer because of the manner in which the function is performed.
Article 7 Terms
- After completion of the complaint handling process, the complainant will receive a letter from the healthcare provider as soon as possible, but no later than six weeks after submission of the complaint, stating the reasons to which the investigation of the complaint has led, what decisions have been taken about and in response to the complaint, and within which term the measures decided upon will be implemented.
- If in the opinion of the healthcare provider the required careful investigation of a complaint so requires, the healthcare provider may extend the term referred to in subsection 1 by no more than four weeks. The healthcare provider will notify the complainant thereof in writing before the expiry of the term.
- If both the complainant and the healthcare provider agree to this in writing, the processing period may be further extended. This can be done, for example, in the case of opting for a mediation process.
- In its written assessment of the complaint, the healthcare provider will inform the complainant of the possibility for the complainant to submit the complaint to the Health Care Disputes Portal.
Article 8 Withdrawal of complaint
A complaint will not be processed further if the complainant withdraws the complaint in writing. If the complaint is not handled further for this reason, the Complaints Officer will notify the healthcare provider and the complainant.
Article 9 Announcement of Complaints Procedure
The healthcare provider will ensure that these complaints regulations are made known to clients and their representatives, inter alia by posting them on its website, providing leaflets and verbally pointing out the existence of the complaints regulations in the event of a complaint.
Article 10 Costs
No costs shall be payable by the complainant for handling complaints as laid down in this complaints regulation.
Article 11 Confidentiality
The persons involved in complaint handling are obliged to maintain confidentiality with regard to (personal) data obtained, the confidential nature of which is known or could reasonably be expected to be known. This means that, except for the duty to report arising from the law, such data may not be disclosed to third parties.
Article 12 Reporting
- Every year, before 1 April of the calendar year following the reporting year, the Healthcare Complaints Portal will publish an anonymised report on the work of the Complaints Officers.
- The report will describe the number and nature of the complaints, the complaints handled by the Complaints Officers, the scope of the judgements and any recommendations.
- The annual report is published and submitted to the IGZ.
- Within 10 days of adoption of the annual report, the Healthcare Complaints Portal publishes notice on its website.
- The annual report can be requested by client councils and is made available for inspection by healthcare providers who request it. Notice of the availability will be given.
Article 13 Retention obligation
Klachtenportaal Zorg will keep all documents related to a complaint and its handling in a file, which will be kept for a maximum of two years after the complaint is finalised, unless there are compelling reasons to keep these documents longer.
Article 14 Entry into force
The Complaints Procedure has been adopted by Klachtenportaal Zorg in agreement with organisations of clients that are considered to be representative and will enter into force on 1 January 2023.