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Complaints Procedure

This Policy and Procedure complies with The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009, introduced on 1st April 2009 across health and social care.


  • The Firs Medical Centre will take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staffs are aware of and comply with this Procedure.
  • The Firs Medical Centre has nominated Mrs Sindhu Balakrishnan as the Management Lead and Vashish Sohodeb as its Complaints Manager, to be responsible for managing the procedures for handling and considering complaints in accordance with the Policy and Procedure.
  • The Firs Medical Centre has also nominated Dr Janakan Crofton as its Responsible Person, to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Policy and Procedure, and in particular ensuring that action is taken if necessary in the light of the outcome of a complaint.
  • The Firs Medical Centre will take all reasonable steps to ensure that patients are aware of:
  1. The Complaints and Comments Procedure
  2. The roles of the practice, the NHS England, CCG and the Health Service Ombudsman with regard to patient complaints. This includes the alternative facility for the patient to complain directly to the CCG instead of making their complaint to the practice, as well as their right to escalate their complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman when they are dissatisfied with the initial response. N.B. ALL escalations must be directed to NHS England and if a patient is dissatisfied with the response to their complaint, they must escalate their complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman, not the CCG).
  3. Their right to assistance with any complaint from the Patient The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS); Citizens Advice Bureaux, 111 and the Care Quality Commission
  • The Firs Medical Centre Complaints and Comments Leaflet, the Practice Leaflet and the website will be the prime information sources for implementing this Policy and will be kept up to date and be made freely available to all Patients.
  • All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Patients who make a complaint will not be discriminated against or be subject to any negative effect on their care, treatment or support.
  • Where a complaint investigation requires access to the patient's medical records and involves disclosure of this information to a person outside the practice, Ms Rehana Meeajane, the Complaints Manager, will inform the patient or person acting on their behalf.
  • The Firs Medical Centre will maintain a complete record of all complaints and copies of all related  correspondence. These records will be kept separately from patients' medical records.


All persons [patients and visitors] who have a complaintshould in the first instance, directed to Vashish Sohodeb, Assistant Practice Manager. There should also be Complaints & Comments leaflet at reception that can be offered or handed to the person who wishes to make a complaint. The Complaint must be made in writing via letter. You can also get in touch via our Klinik page by navigating to 'Administration Queries' - 'Patient Feedback'.

Alternatively, if you have a complaint about a primary care service (GP, dentist, pharmacist, and optician), you can contact NHS England: Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9P

Receipt And Acknowledgment Of Complaints

The Firs Medical Centre may receive the following complaints:

  • A complaint made directly by the patient or former patient, who is receiving or has received treatment at the practice;
  • A complaint made on behalf of a patient or former patient (with his/her consent)(please see consent policy), who is receiving or has received treatment at the practice;
  • Where the patient is a child:
  1. By either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult who has care of the child;
  2. By a person duly authorised by a Local Authority into whose care the child has been committed under the provisions of the Children Act 1989;
  3. By a person duly authorised by a voluntary organisation, by which the child is being accommodated.
  • Where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a representative who has an interest in his/her welfare.
  • All complaints, whether written or verbal will be recorded by the complaints manager in the dedicated complaints record.
  • All written complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days of receipt
  1. Conclusions of the investigation: was there an error, omission or shortfall by your organisation? Did this disadvantage the complainant, and if so, how?
  2. What needs to be done to put things right
  3. Any lessons learnt, these will be shared at the practice meetings (clinical and non-clinical) 
  4. An explanation of what will happens next (e.g. what will be done, who will do it, and when)
  5. Information on what the person complaining should do if they are still unhappy and wish to escalate the complaint, including full contact information on the Health Service Ombudsman.

The Firs Medical Centre will send the complainant a response within 28 working days signed by EITHER Mrs Sindhu Balakrishnan (Management Lead) or the Practice Manager, Vashish Sohodeb or Dr Janakan Croftdon [GP Partner and the Responsible Person for all complaints] nominated by the practice.

The response will incorporate:

  • The written report
  • Confirmation as to whether the practice is satisfied that any necessary action has been taken or is proposed to be taken;
  • A statement of the complainant’s right to take their complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

If the practice does not send the complainant a response within the first 28 working days the practice will notify the complainant in writing accordingly and explain the reason why.

Unresolved Complaints

  • In situations where the person making the complaint can become aggressive or unreasonable, the practice will instigate the appropriate actions within the guidelines of our Our Zero Tolerance Policy

Complaints Register

To ensure the practice monitors, handles and reviews complaints in a logical and timely manner, and to keep an audit trail of steps taken and decisions reached, the practice records all individual complaints received on a dedicated Complaints Log (see Appendix A). [The complaints log is used to share information about complaints at meetings and annual; reviews]. The Practice also keeps the original complaints and responses made by the practice on a separate folder within the staff shared folder.

Annual Review Of Complaints

In line with National Guidance, the practice will supply the following information to NHS England:

  • The number of complaints received;
  • The issues that these complaints raised;
  • Whether complaints have been upheld, on-going or resolved;
  • The number of cases referred to the Ombudsman.

Reporting A Summary Of Complaints To The Care Quality Commission

The Firs Medical Centre will adhere to the Care Quality Commission’s requirement of producing a summary of complaints at a time and in a format set out by the CQC and then send the summary within the timeframe specified.

Contact Details For Further Information

NHS England
PO Box 16738
Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 2233 
Email: If you are making a complaint please state ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line

Visit the NHS England Website

NHS North East London ICB
Healthcare users and visitors can make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person. 
The complaint should be made as soon as possible. This should be within a year of the event. One can make a complaint on their own or on behalf of someone else if they have their permission.

Complaints Department
NHS North East London
4th Floor – Unex Tower
5 Station Street
London E15 1DA  

Visit the NHS North East London ICB Website

Please send your COMPLAINT / FEEDBACK using the following email

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank London SW1P 4QP
Tel: 0345 0154033

Visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website

Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC National Correspondence
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tel: 0300 61 61 61

Visit the CQC website

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
Tel. 0300 456 2370

Visit the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) website

Healthwatch Waltham Forest
Waltham Forest Resource Hub (Central)
1 Russell Road
E10 7ES
Telephone: 020 3078 9990

For more details about the information service from Healthwatch Waltham Forest please visit their website

Freedom of Information enquiries: (FoI)
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) – or FOI Act – gives members of the public a right to request access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, promoting a culture of openness 
and accountability across the public sector.

Your request must be in writing and can be either posted or emailed:

NEL Freedom of Information Team, 
1 Lower Marsh,