Practice Complaints Procedure


The staff and partners recognise that, occasionally, everyone makes mistakes. This includes us. Although we try to provide the kind of service our patients would like, we appreciate that this is not always possible.

We feel that the only way to improve the service that we provide is to actively encourage our patients to complain about the things we get wrong. (We hope you will also tell us about the things we get right!!)

If you are unhappy about the service, staff or any other aspect of the surgery, PLEASE TELL US!! We operate a practice complaints procedure, which is part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints and meets national criteria. We aim to resolve complaints easily and quickly. In many cases we try to solve the problems as they arise.

All complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager. You can do this by:

  • Making a verbal complaint by telephone to speak to Gill Collins.
  • Writing a letter of complaint to Barnard Medical Group.

Whichever way you choose to raise your concerns, we will acknowledge your complaint within two working days. If your complaint pertains to administrative staff, or the practice procedures, you will be asked to attend an appointment, with the Practice Manager. This will usually take effect within 10 working days.

Where the complaint is against a clinical member of staff, i.e. a doctor or nurse, the practice manager will investigate your complaint, or a doctor not involved with your complaint. You may then be asked to attend an appointment, with the practice manager and all relevant parties at a mutually agreed time or be contacted by telephone.

The purpose of this appointment is to take a detailed record of your concerns (you will be asked to read and sign this). A copy of this record will be given for you to keep. No complaint will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, religion, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or on the basis of gender re-assignment.

If the complaint is relatively straightforward, we will now be in a position to have investigated your complaint and can offer you an explanation. If however, you are not satisfied or your complaint is of a more complicated nature we will explain the next step in the complaints procedure and the time limits you should expect. In all instances the Practice Manager will ensure that your concerns are dealt with as soon as possible. However if you do not wish to complain directly to the practice, a practice liaison (PALS) has been established in every NHS Trust and Primary Care Trust. PALS are not part of the complaints procedure itself but they may be able to resolve your concerns informally or can tell you more about the complaints procedure and independent complaints advocacy services. 

Complaining on behalf of someone else.

If the situation arises where you need someone to make a complaint on your behalf or a patient requests that you make a complaint on their behalf then you need to be aware that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality.

We would always need the written consent of the patient before we could accept the complaint.

What will we do?

During our investigations we shall:

  • Find out exactly what happened and what went wrong.
  • Ensure that the problem has been discussed with all the appropriate members of staff and provide feedback.
  • Offer an apology if we are found to be at fault.
  • Take steps to ensure that the problem does not happen again.

Can I bring someone with me?

During these meetings you have the right to have another person, an advocate present. This person can be anyone of your choosing with the exception of a solicitor engaged for a fee.

How long do I have to complain?

You have:

  • 12 months from the original date of the incident or
  • 12 months from the date of discovering a problem
  • 12 months within the date of a patients death to make a complaint.

After this, facts and conversations become muddled and so a satisfactory conclusion is unlikely.

Not happy with the outcome?

We believe that raising your concerns with us will give us the best chance to improve our service. Whilst we hope that we can give a satisfactory explanation or solution, we appreciate that this may not always be the case.

If you remain dissatisfied once the practice based complaints procedure (local resolution) has been fully utilised, you have the right to request an independent review of your complaint by contacting the Health Service Ombudsman. You can contact the health service ombudsman on: 0345 015 4033.

Or write to them at:

The parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

Or Visit their website at:



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