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Complaints Procedure

We always try to give you the best service possible, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened.  This explains what to do if you have a complaint about the services that we provide for you.

Our practice procedure is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation.  We hope you will use it to allow us to look into and, if necessary, put right any problems you have identified or mistakes that have been made.

If you use this procedure it will not affect your right to complain to NHS England if you so wish at a later date.  You may also want to contact an independent agency such as the Dorset Advocacy Service.  However, all complaints will be dealt with first by the Practice.  The appropriate contact addresses for NHS England and the Dorset Advocacy Service are given below.  Please note that we have to respect our duty of confidentiality to patients and a patient’s consent will be necessary if that patient does not make the complaint in person.

If the patient is deceased, we will ask for evidence that the person making the complaint is the legal next of kin or executor of the will.

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of an incident happening or of you becoming aware of the problem.

If your complaint relates to our administration service, please ask to speak to one of our Senior Administrators or our Operations Manager who may be able to resolve your complaint more quickly.

If your complaint cannot be resolved with the assistance of our administration team, or you have a clinical concern, or you think the issue is more serious, you can make a complaint in the following ways:

  • Write to our Business Administration Manager, outlining your concerns.
  • Request a phone call from our Business Administration Manager who will take written details of your concerns
  • Request a complaint form, which can be completed and returned to the Practice.

You will receive a written acknowledgement that we have received your complaint within 3 working days.  Non-clinical complaints will be investigated by the Business Administration Manager.  If the complaint is clinical in nature, the GP Partner who oversees the practice complaints procedure will carry out the investigation.  If the GP Partner is themselves the subject of the complaint, one of the other partners will carry out the investigation.  All complaints paperwork is stored separately from your medical records. We will inform you if the investigation of the complaint requires your records to be seen by someone other than a member of the Practice team.

We think it is important to deal with complaints swiftly, so you will normally be given a written reply as soon as reasonably practicable after completing the investigation. Occasionally, if we have to make a lot of enquiries and the people involved are away, it might take a little longer, but we will keep you informed.  Following the written reply, we can arrange a meeting if you feel that further discussion is necessary.  You may bring a friend or relative with you to the meeting.

We will try to address your concerns fully, provide you with an explanation and discuss any action that may be needed.  We hope that at the end of the complaints process you will feel satisfied that we have dealt with the matter thoroughly. 

If you are not content with the outcome, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate the case and carry out an independent review.  The Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and the government.  They are not obliged to investigate every complaint and will normally only review a complaint once it has been through the local resolution stage.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Vespasian House
Barrack Road

Tel: 01305 368900
Visit the Dorset CCG Website

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
11th Floor
Millbank Tower

Helpline: 0345 015 4033
Visit the Ombudsman Website

Dorset Advocacy Service
Unit 13-15, Jubilee Court
Paceycombe Way, Poundbury

Tel: 0300 343 7000
Visit the Dorset Advocacy Service

NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 2233
Visit NHS England