We aim to provide high-quality care at all times. There may be occasions, however, when you feel this has not happened. If you are genuinely unhappy with any aspect of our service, please contact Lesley Lee, our Practice Manager, in writing or by contacting her at the surgery.
We operate an informal in-house complaints procedure. Please note that this does not deal with matters of legal liability or compensation.
We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, please let us know as soon as possible. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do this, please let us have details of your complaint:
- within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
- within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.
The practice adheres to the NHS Complaints Regulations – making a complaint will not affect the treatment and care you receive from the practice.
Please note that we have to respect our duty of confidentiality to patients. Therefore, a patient’s consent will be necessary if you are complaining on behalf of someone else.
You can make your complaint:
a) In person – by speaking to any member of our staff;
b) In writing – some complaints may be easier to explain in writing. Please either:
- obtain a complaint form from reception, fill in the details and hand in at reception; or
- write a letter for the attention of Lesley Lee, our Practice Manager.
What we will do
Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we investigate and settle any complaints as quickly as possible.
Our Practice Manager will acknowledge your complaint within 14 working days.
She will then arrange for your complaint to be investigated. It is likely that, as a first step, we will contact you directly to ensure the nature of your complaint is fully understood. We will then interview any staff involved, review the situation and inspect relevant documents.
If appropriate, you will be offered an informal meeting with a senior member of staff to discuss the matter fully. If you wish, you may bring a friend or relative with you to this meeting. We trust at the end of this meeting, you will feel satisfied the matter has been resolved.
We aim to settle your complaint within 28 working days of the date when you raised it with us. There is, however, no nationally allotted timescale for resolution – accepting that requirements will differ from case to case.
If we have to make a lot of enquiries and it is going to take some time to get back to you with a final response, we will keep you informed.
What if I am not satisfied?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is completely independent of the NHS and government.
Do you need help to make your complaint?
Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) are established in every NHS Trust to provide confidential, independent advice and assistance to help you sort out any concerns you may have about any aspect of NHS care. See North East PALS Team and other points of contact for advice and support regarding queries/concerns about NHS Services in PALS section of our practice website.
The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) is a free, confidential and independent service which represents the views of users of the NHS and can give advice, information, and support about making a formal complaint. If you need help and advice in making your complaint, you may wish to contact the local ICAS service.
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)(local office)
Evans Incubation Centre
Durham Way South
Freephone: (0808) 802 3000