Complaints Procedure

We aim to provide our patients with the best care we can and would like to hear from you if you think we have done something well, or if you have suggestions on how we could do something differently.  Equally we know that there will be times when we fall short of the mark and want to know if you are unhappy with our service.

We would encourage you to speak to whoever you feel most comfortable with your doctor, a nurse, a receptionist or manager.

A complaints folder


We would also welcome your comments, concerns and ideas through our Patient Participation Group.  Suzanne Large, Practice Manager is the contact for the Patient Participation Group. Tel: 01622 814466

If you have a complaint please do not be afraid to say how you feel.  We welcome feedback to help us improve our standards and you will not be treated any differently because you have complained.  We will do our best to put right anything that has gone wrong and this leaflet aims to help you to make your views known to us.

If you prefer to give your feedback in writing, please send it to:

Suzanne Large, Practice Manager
Wateringbury Surgery
14 Pelican Court
ME18 5SS


Who can make a complaint?

Complaints can be made by patients either on their own behalf or by a representative (with your consent).


What are the time limits for making a complaint?

As soon as you can whilst you can remember the details clearly.  Usually the NHS Complaints Procedure only deal with complaints made within 12 months of the event or within 12 months of finding out that there is something you should complain about.  This time limit might be invalid if there are good reasons why you were not able to let us know earlier and we can still carry out an effective investigation.


When something goes wrong

If you have a complaint or concern the quickest way to resolve it is to speak to a member of the team and if they can resolve it straight away they will do so.  If not they will refer the matter to the Complaints Manager who will take matters from there.


What happens next?

The Complaints Manager will acknowledge your complaint and make early contact witih you (within 3 days) to discuss the way forward.  The discussion can be face to face but need not be depending upon what is most convenient for all concerned.

Your complaint will be investigated within an agreed timescale and you will be kept informed of the progress.


Other options you have

Complaints can be directed to NHS England rather than the practice and they may oversee the investigation and respond to the issues raised.  NHS England is obliged to notify the practice about any complaints it receives with your consent.


What happens if the complaint involves a hospital?

Where other organisations such as hospitals are involved in the complaint, we will aim to provide you with a co-ordinated response covering all aspects of your complaint.  Where a complaint is solely about a third party, we may seek your agreement to pass the complaint to them.


And finally

Once the investigation has been concluded a letter will be sent to you setting out how we investigated your complaint as well as details of the actions taken or to be taken as a result of our findings. We hope that your complaint will be resolved at this stage.  If you remain unhappy, we will write to advise you that we are satisfied with the way the complaint has been investigated and to provide you with the details of the Parliamentary and Health Service Omsbudman to whom you will then have recourse.

Or you may wish to contact

NHS England

If you have a concern or complaint about a GP or the practice, you can ask NHS England to oversee the management of the complaints process.

To take up this option please contact:

NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

Telephone: 03003112233



SEAP are an Independent Advocacy Service who are available to support you and represent your views when making a complaint - they can accompany you to meetings to discuss your complaint and provide support or an interpreter.

SEAP, 7th Floor, Cavendish House, Breeds Place, Hastings TN34 3AA

Telephone: 0330 440 9000


If you remain dissatisfied with the response from the practice (or NHS England where your complaint was investigated by them) then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.  They would require a clear statement of what issues remain outstanding.

The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman

MillbankTower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Telephone: 0345 015 4033


The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website contains detailed information on raising a complaint about any aspect of the NHS in England.