Compliments & Complaints

We love to hear from you when we have done well

Please post your positive comments on the NHS Choices website and let others know.

Making a complaint

We operate a complaints policy in line with NHS complaints procedure.

Should you have a complaint or wish to comment about the service you have received from the practice this should be made in writing directly to the Practice Manager.

Aim of Complaints Policy

The aim of this policy is to resolve concerns of the complainant and improve the quality of services rather than the allocation of blame. Attention will be given to resolving the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant while being scrupulously fair to staff or practitioner. It is expected that patients will make a complaint direct to the Practice to try to resolve the concern raised. It is not expected that patients will raise concerns directly via NHS Choices until the Practice has a chance to respond.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction, written or verbal requiring a response. Complaints may be made:

  • In writing
  • Via Email
  • By telephone
  • In person

Time Limits

In normal circumstances a complaint should be made within twelve months from the incident that caused the problem. There is discretion to extend this time limit where it is thought possible to investigate the facts of the case. The sooner we look into the matter the easier it will be to establish what happened.

Acknowledgement and Response

All complaints must be referred to the Practice Business Manager

  • An acknowledgement will be made within 3 working days of receipt.
  • We will aim to investigate and provide you with the findings as soon as we can and will provide regular updates regarding the investigation of your complaint.

Who May Complain

Complaints may be made by, or on behalf of, existing or former patients. Where the person making the complaint is not the patient, their representative must be able to demonstrate that they have the permission of the person concerned. Where the person has died, or is not able to give consent – for example owing to mental illness or disability, or because they are too ill at the time – it will be necessary to establish that the complainant has a legal mandate or written consent to represent the patient.

Particular attention must be paid to the need to respect the confidentiality of the patient and to any known wishes expressed by the patient that information must not be disclosed to third parties.

Complaints Concerning Other Healthcare Services

To find details of where to submit a complaint concerning a healthcare service which is not provided by Furnace Green Surgery, such as the Out of Hours service, ambulance service, or community services such as district nursing, please visit the Sussex ICS website.

Complaint Resolution

Complaints or expressions of dissatisfaction can be made by telephone, face to face, in writing or via email.

  • Face to face – It is expected that most complaints received in this way can be resolved to the satisfaction of the patient informally by front line staff or practitioners
  • Telephone – Dealt with in the same way as face to face complaints
  • In Writing – All letters of complaint must be passed to the Practice Manager for resolution
  • Email – Please mark for the attention of the Practice Manager

Should it not be possible for the complaint to be resolved informally by a front line member of staff, the patient should be requested to put their complaint in writing to the Practice Manager. Although this may seem an arbitrary way of handling the situation it gives the patient time to gather their thoughts and state clearly in their letter or email the nature of their complaint.

In the rare event that the above actions do not achieve resolution, particularly in the cases of sensitive matters, the call or face to face complaint should be referred to the Practice Manager, or in their absence, to the Administrator or Reception Supervisor for resolution.

Patient Dissatisfaction with Practice Response

If you are not satisfied with the way we have dealt with your complaint, you can make a request for an independent review by contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP telephone enquiries 0345 015 4033 (fax 0300 061 4000). Email: or

All complaints will be reviewed by the Partners as part of the Practice's Clinical Governance agenda.

HCAS and Healthwatch West Sussex is the organisation which can provide guidance and support on making a complaint or to make a compliment.
Tel IHCAS: 0300 012 0122 email: