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Complaints Procedure

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our Practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong, resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would like the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To have your complaint investigated, you need to complain within 12 months of the event happening, or as soon as you first become aware of the issue you want to complain about.

Interpreting Service

We can arrange for a meeting with the Practice Manager and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.

How to make a compliment or complaint

Whether you are happy or unhappy with the care and treatment that you have received, please get in touch and let us know your views.

Receiving compliments and complaints is important to ensuring good quality local healthcare in our Practice – helping us to find out more about what we’re getting right and what we can improve.

We hope this will help you to make your feelings and experiences known to the appropriate people. Should you have a complaint we hope this page will give you more information about what to do, who to contact and what happens next.

How do I raise a concern / informal complaint?

You can speak to any member of staff initially with your complaint. This gives you the opportunity to resolve any concern you may have without it going through a formal process.

Most complaints are best resolved within the practice and these should be made via the Practice Manager. If attending in person please ask for the Practice Manager at reception or alternatively please call the practice on 020 8648 3187 and ask to speak with the Practice Manager.

Further information about our Complaints Policy

This document outlines our commitment to dealing with complaints about the service provided by NHS England and the services we commission. It also provides information about how we manage, respond to and learn from complaints made about our services and the way in which they are commissioned.

In doing so, it meets the requirements of the Local Authority Social Care and National Health Service Complaints [England] Regulations (2009), conforms to the NHS Constitution and reflects the recommendations from both the Francis report (2013) and Clwyd Hart review (2013).


  • The practice will take all reasonable steps to ensure that its members of staff are aware of and comply with this procedure.
  • The practice has nominated the practice manager – Mr Tarek Terfani as its complaints manager, to be responsible for managing the procedures for handling and considering complaints in accordance with the policy and procedure.
  • The practice has nominated Dr Kashif Aziz as its Responsible Person, to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy and procedure, and in particular ensuring that action is taken if necessary in the light of the outcome of a complaint.
  • The practice will treat complaints seriously and ensure that complaints, concerns and issues raised by patients, relatives and carers are properly investigated in an unbiased, non-judgmental, transparent, timely and appropriate manner. The outcome of any investigation, along with any resulting actions will be explained to the complainant by the investigating organisation.
  • The practice Complaints and Comments Patient Information Leaflet, the Patient Information Leaflet and the practice website will be the prime information sources for implementing this policy. These will be kept up to date and be made freely available to all patients.
  • All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Where a complaint investigation requires access to the patient’s medical records and involves disclosure of this information to a person outside the practice, Tarek Terfani, the Complaints Manager, will inform the patient or person acting on their behalf.
  • The practice will maintain a complete record of all complaints and copies of all related correspondence. These records will be kept separately from patients’ medical records.


Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of an incident or of the matter coming to your attention. This time limit can be extended provided you have good reasons for not making the complaint sooner and it is possible to complete a fair investigation.

This will be a decision taken by the complaints manager in discussion with you. If you are told your complaint cannot be looked at, you may want to contact the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

You can make a complaint verbally, in writing, or by email. If you make your complaint verbally, a record of your complaint will be made and you will be provided with a written copy.

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, include their written consent with your letter (if you are making your complaint in writing) as this will speed up the process. However, consent is not required if you are making a complaint in the name of:

  • a deceased person.
  • someone who lacks the capacity to make their own decisions – find out how capacity for consent is assessed.
  • a non-Gillick competent child. Please visit the NSPCC for more details.

If you would like support, you can always contact your local NHS Complaints Advocacy service.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Complain for Change website also offers tips about making a complaint, including tailored advice for people with learning disabilities and resources for South Asian and Muslim women.

What to expect

You should expect an acknowledgement and the offer of a discussion about the handling of your complaint within three working days of receiving your complaint.

If you accept, the discussion will cover the period within which a response to your complaint is likely to be sent; there is no set time frame and it will depend upon the nature of your complaint. If, in the end, the response is delayed for any reason, you should be kept informed.

If you have made a complaint but do not receive a response or a decision for more than six months, you should be told the reason for the delay. However, at this point you may also wish to contact the LGO.

Once your complaint has been investigated you will receive a written response. The response should set out the findings and, where appropriate, provide apologies and information about what is being done as a result of your complaint.

It should also include information about how the complaint has been handled and details of your right to take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman.

Find out what to do if you’re not happy with the outcome in the section below.

What else can I expect when making a complaint?

The NHS and social care sectors are working hard to improve complaints handling and best practice. Many organisations have now adopted the principles laid out in their guidance.

This is a document produced by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, LGO and Healthwatch England, which explains what good outcomes for patients and service users look like when complaints are handled well.

Not happy with the outcome?

If your problem persists or you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with locally, you can complain to the relevant ombudsman:

  • Healthcare – you have the right to take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which is independent of the NHS. For more information, call 0345 015 4033 or visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s website.

Complaints Register

To ensure the practice monitors, handles and reviews complaints in a logical and timely manner, and to keep an audit trail of steps taken and decisions reached, the practice records all complaints received on a dedicated complaints register.

Annual Review of Complaints

In line with National Guidance, the practice will supply information to the relevant health authority including:

  • The number of complaints received.
  • The subject of the complaints.
  • Whether complaints have been upheld and details of any actions taken.
  • The number of cases referred to the Ombudsman.

Reporting a Summary of Complaints to the Care Quality Commission

The practice will adhere to the Care Quality Commission’s requirement of keeping a summary of complaints, responses and other related correspondence or information. This will ensure that, if requested, the practice can provide such a summary at a time and in a format set out by the CQC and will be able to send the summary within the time frame specified.

Formal Complaint

The time limit can be extended in special circumstances.

What we will do

We will contact you about your complaint within three working days and offer to discuss with you the best way to investigate it, including the time scales for a reply. We will aim to offer you an explanation within that time frame. Or a meeting with the people involved.

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Invite you to discuss the problem with those involved, if you would like this
  • Apologise where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure that the problem does not happen again.

You can make your complaint online using our Complaints Form.

If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact the NHS Complaints team on:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

If you are making a complaint please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.

In General

If you have a complaint to make, you can either contact the Practice Manager or ask the Receptionist for a copy of our Complaints Procedure. We will endeavour to:

  1. acknowledge any letter or Complaints Form within 3 working days of receiving it.
  2. deal with the matter as promptly as possible – usually within 20 working days – dependent on the nature of the complaint.

Who can complain

  • Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
  • Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
  • Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.

If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.

Appropriate person

In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.

  • For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
  • If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.

If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.

Time limits

A complaint must be made within 12 months, either from the date of the incident or from when the complainant first knew about it.

The regulations state that a responsible body should only consider a complaint after this time limit if:

  • the complainant has good reason for doing so, and
  • it’s still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively, despite the delay.


We have a two stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly however if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will notify you and then keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one – Early, local resolution

  • We will try to resolve your complaint within five working days if possible.
  • If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to escalate your complaint to Stage Two.

Stage Two – Investigation

  • We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage One.
  • We also escalate some complaints straight to this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and we will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be no more that 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time to respond.

Take it Further

Complain to the Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tower 30
London SW1P 4QP

Phone: 0345 015 4033

E: email the Ombudsman 

However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.

Other organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services

Complaints Advocacy Service

POhWER is a charity that provides information, advocacy and independent advice across England.

They offer free direct and local support via Professionals and Volunteers. POhWER reaches individuals struggling with particular challenges in their lives, and help make their voices be heard. POhWER can support and empower you to express your views and concerns and access information and services where needed.

You can contact POhWER on 0300 456 2370 or visit


All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.

We keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.

Statistics and reporting

The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.

Give feedback or make a complaint

You can complain to a member of staff at the NHS service you went to, such as a GP surgery or hospital, or you can complain to the organisation in charge.