Compliments & Complaints

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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 2 working days of receipt.
  •      A written response will be made within 20 working days of receipt. Where this is not possible the complainant will be advised and a revised time scale advised.

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 Out of Hours Service
All complaints concerning Out Of Hours must be directed to Crawley CCG as Commissioners of the service.  Further information can be obtained by calling or writing to the Complaints Manager at: Crawley CCG, Lower Ground Floor, Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, RH11

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:

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