Suggestions and Complaints

Information about the general practitioners and the practice required for disclosure under this act can be made available to the public. All requests for such information should be made to the practice manager. 

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice. However, we are aware that things can go wrong, resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complain. If this is the case, we would like the matter to be settled as quickly and amicably as possible. To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concern appropriately.

Who can make a complaint?

In line with the Regulations, a complaint may be made by “a person who receives or has received services” or “a person who is affected, or likely to be affected, by the action, omission or decision…..which is the subject of the complaint”.

A complaint may be made by a representative acting on behalf of a person mentioned above who:

A- Has died

The complainant would usually be the personal representative of the deceased. In order to respond to the personal representative, St Clements may request some formal documentation from this person such as copy of a will (to demonstrate their role as executor) or a lasting power of attorney relating to health care.

B- Is a child

NHS England must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the complaint to be made by a representative of the child (rather than by the child themselves), and that the representative is making the complaint in the best interest of the child (a child is considered anyone up to the age of 18).

C- Has physical or mental incapacity

In the case of a person who is unable to make the complaint themselves because of either physical incapacity or who lacks capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, St Clements needs to be satisfied that the complaint is being made in the best interest of that person. In relation to points a, b and c above, where St Clements is satisfied that the representative is not conducting the complaint in the best interests of the person on whose behalf the complaint is made, the complaint will not be considered under this policy. St Clements must notify the representative in writing of this decision and state the reason for that decision.

D- Has given consent to a third party acting on their behalf

In this case St Clements will require the following information; • Name and address of the person making the complaint • Name and either date of birth or address of the person who is the subject of the complaint • A consent form signed by the person who is the subject of the complaint This information is recorded as part of the complaint file.

E- Has delegated authority to act on their behalf

For example in the form of a registered Power of Attorney which must cover health affairs

F- Is an MP

acting on behalf of and by instruction from a constituent Where the constituent is not the patient or the person who is the subject of the complaint, we will pursue consent in the usual way.

Time limit for making a complaint

A complaint must be made not later than 12 months after the date on which the matter, which is the subject of the complaint occurred or, if later, the date on which the matter which is the subject of the complaint came to the notice of the complainant. The time limit shall not apply if St Clements is satisfied that the complainant had good reasons for not making the complaint within that time limit and, notwithstanding the delay, it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly. If we do not see a good reason for the delay or we think it is not possible to properly consider the complaint (or any part of it) we will write to the person making the complaint to explain this.


Where a complainant has specified the way in which they wish to be addressed all communication from the acknowledgement stage onwards will follow that request, including the use of pronouns. An acknowledgement to a complaint:

  • Must be within 3 working days;
  • Will be in writing unless in exceptional circumstances where it may be verbal (if made verbally it must be followed up in writing as soon as is possible);
  • Must include an offer to discuss the handling of the complaint;
  • Must include an offer to discuss the timeframe for responding to the complaint;
  • Should include a summary of what the complaint is about and, where unclear, offer to discuss the desired outcome;
  • When the complaint has been made verbally, it must include the written statement which has been recorded as the formal complaint;
  • Will address any issues of consent; and Must include the name and title of the complaints handler who will be the point of contact for the complainant throughout the complaints process.