Your complaint or concern
If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors, or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system that meets national criteria for dealing with complaints.
How to complain
We hope most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, preferably 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, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or, at most, a few weeks. This will enable us to establish more easily what happened . If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:
Within twelve months of the incident that caused the problem; or within twelve months of you becoming aware of the matter.
Complaints should be addressed to the practice manager, Mrs Libby Hoffmann, in the first instance. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with the practice manager to discuss your concerns. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and make sure your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will be a great help if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.
What we shall do
We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to investigate it within 10 working days from the date you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved. When we look into your complaint we shall aim to:
• Find out what happened and why
• Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like to do this
• Make sure you receive a full explanation and apology, if appropriate
• Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again, if appropriate
Complaining on behalf of someone else
Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A written note signed by the person concerned will be needed (unless they are incapable because of illness of providing this).
Complaints will, in the first instance, be dealt with by the practice manager.
If the complaint is made verbally, the complainant will be asked to put the complaint in writing to ensure that an accurate version of events is presented to the GP or member of staff involved.
Once the initial contact has been made, whether verbally or in writing, the nature of the complaint will be recorded in the complaints log.
The complaint will be acknowledged in writing within three days and it will be explained to the complainant that they can expect a response within 10 days.
The matter will be discussed with the senior partner (or deputy) and a full internal investigation will take place with the GP or member of staff involved.
The results of the investigation will be put in writing and sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the internal investigation they will be invited to attend the surgery, with a friend if he/she wishes, to discuss the complaint and the findings of the internal investigation.
Written confirmation of the outcome of the meeting will be sent to the complainant and the complaint log will be updated.
If the complaint remains unresolved the complainant will be informed of his/her right to pursue the complaint with Suffolk Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS).
Where necessary the practice will consider any internal action required to ensure a similar incident does not occur in the future.
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use the Practice Complaints Procedure. We believe this will give both parties the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve practice procedures. This does not affect your right to approach the local PALS if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us and want advice on how to take your complaint forward.
Each Clinical Commissioning Group also facilitates an independent conciliation service to help resolve NHS complaints where these concern a GP.
The address is:
The Complaints Manager
Paper Mill Lane
Suffolk IP8 4DE
Health Service Ombudsman
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome to your complaint you have the right to approach the Health Service Ombudsman. Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
30 Millbank London
Tel: 0345 0154033
Requesting an Independent Review
You also have the right to ask the Healthcare Commission to review your case. This should be done within six months of the conclusion of Local Resolution.
The Healthcare Commission is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare through the assessment of the performance of those who provide services.
You can contact the Healthcare Commission on 0845 601 3012 or write to them at:
FREEPOST NAT 18958
Complaints Investigation Team
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