The surgery operates a complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints. Our system meets national criteria. We hope that problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, if your problem cannot be sorted out this way and you wish to make a complaint you should let us know as soon as possible. Complaints should be addressed to the practice manager or any of the doctors, alternatively you can ask for an appointment with the practice manager to discuss your concerns.

Feedback and complaints about NHS services

Most NHS care and treatment goes well but sometimes things can go wrong. If you are unhappy with your care or the service you have received, it is important to let us know so we can improve.  There are two ways to tell the NHS what you think:

Giving feedback

Feedback helps us improve the quality of your care.

You can give good or bad feedback by telling the NHS organisation or service about it. For example, you can do this through the friends and family test or you can speak to a member of staff. Other ways to give feedback should be clearly displayed at the service you visit.

If you are unhappy with an NHS service, it is worthwhile discussing your concerns early on with the service, as they may be able to sort the issue out quickly. Most problems can be dealt with at this stage but, in some cases, you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone not directly involved in your care.

How to complain

When making a complaint, you can choose to complain to either of the following:

The healthcare provider

This is the organisation where you received the NHS service, for example your hospital, GP surgery or dental surgery.

The commissioner

This is the organisation that pays for the service or care you received. This will vary depending on the NHS service you are complaining about.

If your complaint is about:

  • primary care services such as GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacy services
  • hospital care, mental health services, out of hours services, NHS 111 and community services such as district nursing

Contact your local integrated care board (ICB)

If your complaint is about:

  • healthcare in prison
  • military healthcare
  • specialised services that support people with a range of rare and complex conditions

Contact NHS England

If your complaint is about public health organisations (those who provide services which prevent disease, promote health and prolong life), contact your local council

Complaining to the commissioner may be the right option if you are not comfortable complaining directly to your healthcare provider, or if you feel this is not appropriate.

Please note: if you have already complained to your healthcare provider, the commissioner will not be able to re-investigate the same concerns. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you may wish to go to the next stage of the NHS complaints procedure

Making your complaint

You can complain in writing, by email or by speaking to someone in the organisation. You should make your complaint within 12 months of the incident or within 12 months of the matter coming to your attention. This time limit can sometimes be extended as long as it is still possible to investigate your complaint.

Anyone can complain, including young people. A family member, carer, friend or your local MP can complain on your behalf with your permission.

An Easy Read guide to feedback and complaints

NHS England’s easy read guide explains how to give feedback or make a complaint about your healthcare.

Our Ask Listen Do webpages include information and films for autistic people and people with a learning disability, as well as families and organisations in health, social care and education.

What can I expect if I complain?

You should:

  • have your complaint acknowledged and properly looked into
  • be kept informed of progress and told the outcome
  • be treated fairly, politely and with respect
  • be reassured that your care and treatment will not be affected as a result of making a complaint
  • be offered the opportunity to discuss the complaint with a complaints manager
  • expect appropriate action to be taken following your complaint

Can I get help to make my complaint?

If you feel you would like help to make your complaint support is available. Some people may decide not to make a complaint because they are put off by the process, find it confusing or believe nothing will happen. If you are thinking about making a complaint it is important to know that you have access to local advocacy to help you make your complaint and provide support throughout the complaints process.

An NHS complaints advocate is independent of the NHS and may help you write a letter, attend a meeting with you or explain the options available to you. This service is free to anyone making a complaint about their NHS treatment or care.

How do I find a complaints advocate?

  • Your local Healthwatch can help you find independent NHS complaints advocacy services in your area.
  • You can also contact social services at your local council and ask about advocacy services. Find your local social services.
  • POhWER is a charity that helps people to be involved in decisions being made about their care. Call POhWER’s support centre on 0300 456 2370 for advice.
  • The Advocacy People gives advocacy support. Call 0330 440 9000 for advice or text PEOPLE to 80800 and someone will get back to you.
  • Age UK may have advocates in your area. Visit their website or call 0800 055 6112.
  • VoiceAbility gives advocacy support. Call 01223 555800 for advice or find the contact details for your local VoiceAbility service.

Supporting people with a learning disability or autism

NHS England, the health, local government and social care Ombudsman services and others are leading a project called Ask Listen Do. This is about making it easier to give feedback, raise a concern or complain if you or someone you support has a learning disability, autism or both.

The Ask Listen Do webpages include information and films for autistic people and people with a learning disability, as well as families and organisations in health, social care and education.

The NHS Constitution

The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as a patient, and explains the commitments the NHS has made to providing you with a high quality service. Organisations providing NHS care must take account of the NHS Constitution when treating you, so you may find it helpful to refer to it if you are thinking about making a complaint.

Unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?

If you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) which makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England. It is an independent service which is free for everyone to use.

To take your complaint to the Ombudsman, visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website or call 0345 015 4033.

Public health services complaints

For public health services complaints, contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have resolution to your complaint within 40 days. We will:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned; if you would like to do this
  • Keep you regularly updated
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn´t happen again