Suggestions and Complaints
Making a Complaint
Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned, often at the time they arise, and this may be the approach you try first.
Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, giving as much detail as you can, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:
- Within 12 months of the incident,
- or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter
If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are not normally able to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section on this page for what to do in this case.
We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing it covers all the necessary aspects.
Send your written complaint in the first instance to:
Mrs. Rosemary Eacott, Practice Manager,
The Surgery, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire. SP3 6LF
What we do next
We aim to settle complaints as soon as possible.
We will usually acknowledge receipt within three working days and try to get a response to you within 10 working days. If it cannot be done in 10 days, you will be notified and given a response time. You will then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue.
When looking into a complaint, we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you wish to do so.
When the investigations are complete, a final written response will be sent to you.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been initially sent to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct recipient.
The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to refer the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
We abide by the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality.
If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it. In the event that the patient is deceased, then we may agree to respond to a family member or anyone acting on their behalf or who has had an interest in the welfare of the patient.
Please ask reception for the Complaints Form, which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.
Alternatively, we can send one to you to return to us when we receive the initial written complaint.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that prevent this in your covering letter.
We are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing unless the circumstances above apply. You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who is capable of making their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.
We may still need to correspond directly with the patient or may be able to deal directly with the third party, depending on the wording of the authority provided.
From 1st July 2023, the primary care complaints handling function has been transferred from NHS England to Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).
Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire ICB has detailed information on their complaints procedure on their website and directs complainants to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) if we are unable to address the complaint in the first instance.
PALS may be reached on:
Telephone: 0300 561 0250
If you are Dissatisfied with the Outcome
Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
You have the right to approach the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.
Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
You may also approach Healthwatch or the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy for help or advice.
Independent Health Complaints Advocacy
Please ask for up-to-date details and refer to our website if you wish to make a complaint online.
Latest update: July 2023
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