How to complain if you’re unhappy with your GP practice
The NHS aims to provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place.
We welcome your feedback, both positive and negative to help us to understand what is working well and what we can improve on.
Sometimes your expectations may not be met and you may be unhappy with the care or treatment you have received. You can discuss your concerns with the Practice Manager at your GP practice.
The NHS takes all feedback seriously and where possible will learn from the experiences of patients, carers, relatives and make changes to improve services where possible.
Your future care and treatment will not be affected in any way should you wish to make a complaint if you are unhappy.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is a statement that something has not met your expectations or you are unhappy with the standard of service you received.
How you can make a complaint about your GP practice
You can make a complaint by arranging to speak to your Practice Manager who will provide you with a written account of your concerns or you can write to your GP practice. Your Practice Manager will be able to help you to resolve your issues that you are unhappy about.
All NHS organisations follow the Local Authority Social Service and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.
Your complaint should be acknowledged by the GP Practice either verbally or in writing within 3 working days.
As part of this acknowledgment you should be informed about the length of time it will take to investigate your complaint. You should also discuss an agreeable date that you will receive your complaint response, either verbally or in writing. During the investigation you will be kept up to date with the progress of your complaint.
If you do not want to make your complaint directly to your GP practice, you can instead make a complaint to the NHS England contact centre.
Write to: PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
When can you complain?
A complaint should be made within 12 months from the date the issue occurred or when it came to your attention. In some cases, if there is good reason why you could not complain sooner, and it is still possible to investigate your complaint, then the time limit may be changed.
Who can complain?
Patients, carers or their relatives can complain about the care or treatment they have received or can complain on behalf of another person.
If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, the consent of the patient will be required to investigate the complaint. Please discuss this with your Practice Manager.
What is consent?
Consent is giving the permission for something to happen or the agreement that someone can do something for the patient or on behalf of someone else.
All complaints are dealt with confidentially and information about your complaint will not be shared without your knowledge or consent. In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Caldicott principles, all staff employed by the NHS are bound by a Code of Confidentiality which covers both manual and electronic data.
What are the Caldicott principles?
Every proposed use or sharing of your personal details within or from an organisation should be clearly explained and understood by you, with continuing uses regularly reviewed, by an appropriate guardian. A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person within an organisation responsible for protecting the confidentiality of patient and service-user information and allowing them to use the information properly.
Support to help you make a complaint
If you live in Manchester and would like free advice to help you make a complaint about the NHS, the Independent Complaints Advocacy service can support you.
Write to: Gaddum Centre, 6 Great Jackson Street, Manchester, M15 4AX
Telephone: 0161 214 3904 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in Greater Manchester, please contact your relevant ICA in your area. For example, if you live in Bolton it would be Bolton Advocacy or if you live in Stockport it would be Stockport Advocacy.
If an interpreter is needed to support you through a complaint, your GP practice will arrange this for you.
Information provided in a way that meets your individual needs
The Accessible Information Standard was introduced by the government in 2016 to make sure that people with a disability or sensory loss (e.g. sight or hearing impairment) are given information in a way they can understand.
Please tell the person you are complaining to about any specific individual needs you may have, for example, you may need large print, Braille, audio format or an alternative language. The GP practice will take reasonable steps to ensure they provide you information to meet your individual needs.
What to do if you are not satisfied with your complaint response?
If you have complained directly to your GP practice and you are unhappy with the response you receive, you should contact the Practice Manager to discuss the areas of the complaint you remain unhappy with.
Within the practice response letter, information will be provided to you about your right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint.
PHSO Customer Helpline: 0345 015 4033 from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays. Calls are charged at local or national rates.
Text (call back) service: 07624 813 005, with your name and mobile number.