Make a formal complaint
Most issues can be sorted out at the time they happen and with the person involved. You should try to resolve the issue this way before you submit a complaint.
If you cannot resolve the issue this way, you can then submit a formal complaint.
Before you do this you can get free, confidential advice from your local Healthwatch team.
Get advice before you start
Before you make your complaint, you can get free, confidential advice from your local Healthwatch team.
Who can make a complaint
If you’re a registered patient you can make a complaint about your own care.
You can complain on behalf of someone else if you have their written consent.
When to make a complaint
It’s best to make a formal complaint within a few days of the incident. This makes it easier to confirm what happened.
If that’s not possible, you should make the complaint within 12 months of the incident, or from when you discovered the problem.
How to make a complaint
This is best done via written letter which includes:
- Your Full Name
- Your date of Birth
- The GP Practice you are registered with
- Details of the incident, including dates, times and the names of people involved, if you know them
Send your complaint by post to the surgery or drop it off at our reception desk. Please mark the envelope for the attention of the “Practice Manager”
See our contact details
What happens next
We’ll let you know we’ve received your complaint as soon as possible and usually within 3 working days.
We will conduct an internal investigated and review your complaint letter. We will then write to you, with our findings, usually within 30 working days.
What we look at
We look at:
- what happened and why
- how we can help you
- what we can learn
Other organisations might be involved, for example if it is the hospital then PALS may need to be involved in helping to deal with your complaint.
If your complaint gets sent to the wrong organisation to begin with, we may ask for your consent to forward it to the right place.
We’ll write to tell you the outcome of your complaint.
We’ll also explain how to escalate the issue if you’re not happy with the outcome.
If you’re unhappy with the outcome
If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can contact the Health Service Ombudsman. They may be able to look further into your complaint.
Complain on behalf of someone else
To complain for someone else, you need their written consent. They need to confirm that they:
- are unhappy with their treatment
- allow the practice to deal with someone else about the issue
We cannot discuss the issue with you until the patient gives their written consent.
We may also still need to talk directly with the patient.
How to complain on behalf of someone else
Please write a letter of complaint to the Practice which the patient needs to sign.
If the patient cannot give consent
If the patient cannot give consent because of illness or an accident, it might still be possible to deal with the complaint for them. Please write a letter which gives precise details of why they cannot give consent.
This process is in place because we keep to strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality.