Make a formal complaint

Who can make a complaint and what consent do you need?

If you are a patient who has had a negative experience yourself, you may raise a complaint regarding your own experience. If your complaint also involves other organisations, for example, social services, we may need your consent to talk to them.

Alternatively, you may be concerned about the experience of a friend or relative, in which case, you can complain on their behalf, with their consent to do so. We cannot discuss the issue with you until the patient gives their written consent.

Written consent will therefore be requested once we have received your complaint, we may also still need to talk directly with the patient.

If the patient cannot give consent because of illness or an accident, it might still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please let us know in writing why they cannot give consent, giving precise details.

This process is in place because we keep to strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality.

How to make a complaint

It is always recommended that you try to raise your complaint in writing as this helps to make sure there is an accurate record of the concerns raised for everyone. You can do this by writing to the surgery address or using the online Surgery Feedback form and stating clearly that it is a Formal Complaint.

If you need support with writing your Formal Complaint, please contact the Health Complaints Advocacy Service.

However, you can still make your Formal Complaint by phoning or visiting the surgery. When you do the surgery will advise you of the next steps.

Please visit our Contact Us page for our contact details.

If you write your own letter or use the Surgery Feedback Form, you need to include:

  • The patient’s full name
  • The patient’s date of birth

Details of what you are complaining about, including where possible,

  • Dates
  • Times
  • Names of people involved if you know these

Alternatively, if you would prefer not to complain directly to the surgery, you can send your complaint to NHS Frimley ICB, which is responsible for investigating complaints regarding GP services in Surrey Heartlands.

You can contact them as follows:

  • Telephone: 0300 561 0290
  • Email: frimleyicb.southeastcomplaints@nhs.net
  • Post:

South East Complaints Hub
NHS Frimley ICB
Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
Aldershot
Hampshire
GU11 1AY

How will my complaint be investigated?

We aim to acknowledge all complaints within 5 working days. We will then obtain the relevant information and statements from staff so that we can respond to the concerns that you have raised.

We may invite you to meet with the person tasked with investigating your complaint, to ensure we have all relevant information.

For further information on how your complaint will be investigated and what you can expect from the complaints process, please see our Complaints Policy.

When to make a complaint

You should make a complaint within 12 months of the event(s) concerned or within 12 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about.

We have the discretion to waive this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and, notwithstanding the delay, it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

Outcome

You will receive a response in writing from us, and we aim to do this within 25 working days. If your complaint involves more than one organisation, you should receive one coordinated response.

What is the impact of raising a complaint?

Patients and their representatives raise complaints for a variety of reasons, and we aim to establish the desired outcome for all complainants at the outset.

Please be assured that raising a formal complaint will not have an adverse effect on the patient’s treatment or the way we interact with them.

We recognise the importance of obtaining feedback to improve our services and value the opportunity to learn from the experiences of our service users.

Following the outcome of your complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the response that you have received, please let us know so that we can ascertain whether there is anything else that can be done.

Alternatively, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) which makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England and their service is free. Complaints should usually be referred to the Ombudsman within 12 months.

To take a complaint to the Ombudsman:

  • By post:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP