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Make a complaint

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the personnel working in this Practice, please let us know.  We operate a Practice complaints’ procedure as part of an NHS complaints system, which meets national criteria.

How to complain

We hope that we can sort most problems out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If you would like to speak with us informally about any concerns, comments or suggestions you have, please ask to speak with a member of the management team. If you wish to make a formal complaint, please do so as soon as possible - ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what happened more easily.  If doing that is not possible, your complaint should be submitted within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem; or within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem. You should address your complaint in writing to the Practice Manager, Heather Carrigan (you can use the downloadable form on the website if you prefer).  If you would like to talk through your complaint before submitting it, please ring and ask to speak with Heather. She is happy to talk with you in confidence and will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strict rules about confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must know that they have given you permission to do so and are happy for you to learn details of their medical history, if appropriate. We have a form for them to fill in, so please ask for it if you need it (it can also be downloaded from the website). We recognise that under some circumstances (most obviously because of medical problems) some patients will not be able to sign such a form, and we shall then try to decide what is in their best interests.

If you need help making a complaint

We are happy to help you, as we see this as an important part of the service that we offer.  However if you feel you would like help from an outside organisation, there are free services set up by the NHS to help you:

HealthWatch Bristol provides advocacy services, as well as support for patients wishing to complain about health and social care services. Their contact details are: tel: 0117 269 0400; e-mail: www.healthwatchbristol.co.uk, or post at: Healthwatch Bristol, The Care Forum, The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Bristol BS16 2QQ.

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy, which offers independent free confidential help and support to make a complaint.  You can contact NHS Health Complaints on: tel: 0330 440 9002.

NHS Commission Board; it deals with complaints concerning GP practices. Complaints should be made in writing via: England.contactus@nhs.net or NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

What we will do

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and aim to have investigated fully within 10 working days of the date it was received.  We will contact you initially to discuss how you would like to take the complaint forward and if appropriate, arrange to meet if that would be helpful. We will agree a plan of action with you and keep you fully informed of the progress of your complaint.  If we expect it to take longer than 10 days to investigate, we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to conclude our investigation. When we look into your complaint, we will investigate the circumstances; make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned; make sure you receive an apology if this is appropriate, and take steps to make sure any problem does not arise again.
You will receive a final letter setting out the result of the Practice investigation.

Taking a complaint further

We do hope that your complaint or concerns will have been satisfactorily dealt with via our in-house complaints procedure. However, if you remain dissatisfied with the result of our investigation or response, you may wish to contact the Customer Contact Centre of NHS England. Their contact details are: e-mail: nhscommissioningboard@hscic.gov.uk; post: NHS Commissioning Board, PO Box 16728, Redditch, B97 9PT; tel: 0300 311 22 33
In all complaints, the second stage of the NHS complaints process remains to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review the complaint, which is an independent body established to provide a service to the public by undertaking independent investigations into complaints. Their contact details are: tel: 0345 015 4033; post: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP; e-mail: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Our review

We are also required by the NHS each year to review all the complaints we have received.  We compile a report summarising the complaints and send the NHS a copy of the report.

Making a complaint or raising concerns about NHS services in Bristol

The way the NHS is run has changed.  The Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) that used to have responsibility for all of an area’s healthcare needs have been disbanded. The responsibility has been split between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England.  This means that there are different organisations to complain to or raise concerns with, depending on what service you have a problem with.
People with complaints or concerns about the decision-making processes used by the local Clinical Commissioning Group or the outcomes of decisions, can either make a formal complaint to:
Kat Tucker
Complaints & FOI Manager
Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group
South Plaza
Marlborough Street
Bristol BS1 3NX
Tel: 0117 900 2494
kathryn.tucker@bristolccg.nhs.uk or kathryn.tucker@nhs.net
Or can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
0117 947 4477 or 0800 073 0907
Suite 15, Corum 2
Corum Business Park
BS30 8FJ

The Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responsibility for commissioning hospital, mental health, community and GP out of hours’ services. People with complaints or concerns about hospital care etc can contact either the CCG via Kat Tucker or Sarah Jenkins as above or the individual hospital:
North Bristol NHS Trust: Frenchay, Cossham and Southmead Hospitals 
Advice & Complaints Team (ACT)
Beaufort House,
Beaufort Way,
Southmead Hospital,
Bristol BS10 5NB
Tel: 0117 323 3741
Fax: 0117 323 6561
Email: complaints@nbt.nhs.uk
University Hospitals Bristol: Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Dental Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, Bristol Heart Institute, South Bristol Community Hospital, Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, Bristol Sexual Health Centre:
By phone on 0117 342 3604
By post to Patient Support & Complaints Team, Trust Headquarters, University Hospitals Bristol, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NU
By email: pals@uhbristol.nhs.uk
NHS England has responsibility for primary care in Bristol; GP practices, dental practices, opticians and pharmacies.  People with complaints or concerns about a GP practice, dental practice, optometry practice (optician) or pharmacy will need to contact either the individual practice or the NHS England Customer Contact Centre:

Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Email: england.contactus@nhs.net
Post: NHS England
PO Box 16728
B97 9PT
IIn all complaints, the second stage of the NHS complaints process remains to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review the complaint. 
Advocacy is commissioned by the council from HealthWatch Bristol.  They can offer different levels of support from self-advocacy through to trained volunteer advocates and professional advocacy.  They support patients to look at different options and possible outcomes so they can make informed choices about what action they can take. They can be contacted on 0808 808 5252.
June 2014


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