Suggestions and Complaints
From 1st April 2009, a common approach to the handling of complaints was introduced across health and adult social care. This procedure is by this approach.
Who can raise a complaint?
The practice may receive a complaint made by, or (with the patient’s consent) on behalf of a patient, or former patient of the practice.
- Where the patient is a child, either parent or (in the absence of both parents) the guardian of the child can raise a complaint on their behalf, including representatives of a local authority if the child has been committed to their care.
- Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, a relative or other adult who has an interest in his/her welfare may raise a complaint on the patient’s behalf.
How can I make a complaint?
Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager or Senior Partner. Whilst we can accept complaints verbally, we ask that complaints are done in writing wherever possible, as this minimises the margin for misunderstanding. If you do not want to complain directly to the surgery, you can complain to NHS England; contact details are given below
Is there anyone who can help me make a complaint?
If you would like help or support in making your complaint, several organisations may be able to help you, including Healthwatch, the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Contact details for these services are given below.
When can a complaint be made?
A complaint can be made:
- Within 12 months from the date of the incident which is the subject of the complaint; or
- Within 12 months of the subject of the complaint coming to the complainant’s notice
The surgery has the discretion to extend the time limits where it is still possible to make a full investigation of the complaint despite the time elapsed.
How quickly will I get a response to my complaint?
The surgery will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days and will aim to respond to your concerns within 10 working days. If for any reason a response within this timeframe is not feasible, we will contact you to inform you of the reason for any delay, and to provide you with a revised period.
If your complaint requires input from external sources (for example, if it concerns a locum clinician, or a staff member who no longer works at the practice), the period for response will likely need to be extended. We will also require your consent to contact them to make a full investigation.
What if I am not satisfied with the response to my complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can contact us to request further clarification or a meeting where we will attempt to address any outstanding concerns. If this process does not resolve your concerns to your satisfaction, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who can undertake an independent review of your complaint.
The definition of vexatious complainers includes, but is not limited to:
- Those who persist in pursuing a complaint where the procedure has been implemented and exhausted
- Those who seek to prolong contact and/or place unreasonable demand on practice time/resources
- Those unwilling to accept documented evidence
- Those who do not identify the concern they wish to be investigated
In these cases, it may be necessary to instigate a code of behaviour, such as restricting the method or frequency of contact. In extreme cases, removal from the practice list may be considered.
We understand that people may be angry or upset by the issues they raise in their complaints. However, aggressive behaviour is unacceptable. The NHS has a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding violence and aggression, and such behaviour may result in removal from the practice list.
Thorpe Road Surgery
Thorpe Road Surgery
64 Thorpe Road
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Additional contact detail
Citizens Advice Bureau
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
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