Make a complaint

We constantly strive to give patients the best possible care and attention. We regularly review our service and have case discussions.

Comments can be fed back to staff at any time or write it down and put it in the suggestion box.

Practice Complaints Procedure

Complaints should be put in writing to The Practice Manager as soon as possible after the event and ideally within afew days, 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 discovering that you have a problem. We will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days and aim to have looked into the matter within 10 working days. You may 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.

We will try to

  • address your concerns fully
  • provide you with an explanation
  • discuss any action that may be needed

When the investigations are complete your complaint will be determined and a final response 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 sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.

The final response letter will incl

ude details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.

We keep to 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.

Please click here to download the Complaints Form which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your covering letter.

Please note that 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.

We hope that you will be satisfied that we have dealt with your complaint thoroughly. However, if this is not possible and you wish to continue with your complaint, we will direct you to the appropriate authorities.

Our Practice procedure is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation. We hope you will use it to allow us to look into and, if necessary, put right any problems you have identified or mistakes that have been made. HELP US TO HELP YOU!

If you use this procedure it will not affect your right to complain to the NHS Commissioning Board

Write to: NHS Commissioning Board, PO Box 16738 , Redditch , B97 9PT tel: 0300 311 2233 or (Please write 'For the attention of the Complaints Manager' in the subject line.)

Further advice and support is also available from:-

PALS and Complaints - the Patient Advice and Complaints Team 0300 123 1672, text for a callback 07789 741099,

Healthwatch England or tel: 0300 068 3000

Please note that we have to respect our duty of confidentiality to patients and a patient's consent will be necessary if a complaint is not made by that patient in person.

Who can complain?

A complaint can be made by a patient or person affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decisions of a NHS organisation or primary care practitioner. A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent.

How to make a complaint about the NHS

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from the NHS you are entitled to make a complaint, have it considered, and receive a response from the NHS organisation or primary care practitioner concerned. The NHS complaints procedure described in this leaflet applies to the NHS in England, except for NHS Foundation Trusts (see below).

A Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) has been established in every NHS Trust and primary care trust (PCT). PALS are not part of the complaints procedure itself but they might be able to resolve your concerns informally or can tell you more about the complaints procedure and independent complaints advocacy services.

The NHS complaints procedure covers complaints made by a person about any matter connected with the provision of NHS services by NHS organisations or primary care practitioners (GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists). The procedure also covers services provided overseas or by the private sector where the NHS has paid for them.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

You should normally complain within 6 months of the event(s) concerned or within 6 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. Primary care practitioners and complaints managers in NHS organisations have discretion to waive this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier.

To whom should I complain initially?

Comments can be fed back to staff at any time or write it down and put it in the suggestion box.

Local Resolution

The first stage of the NHS complaints procedure is 'Local Resolution'. Your complaint should be made in the first instance to the organisation or primary care practitioner providing the service. Local resolution aims to resolve complaints quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible using the most appropriate means; for example, use of conciliation.

You can raise your concerns immediately by speaking to a member of staff (e.g. doctor, nurse, dentist, GP or practice manager) or someone else, e.g. the PALS. They may be able to resolve your concerns without the need to make a more formal complaint.

However, if you do want to continue with your complaint you can do this orally or by writing to the primary care practitioner or the NHS organisation concerned. If you make your complaint orally a written record may be made by the person dealing with your complaint.

You should receive a response from a primary care practitioner within 10 working days or from the chief executive of the NHS organisation concerned within 20 working days. You should be kept informed of progress if this is not going to happen.

Independent Review

If you are unhappy with the final response to your complaint, you can ask the Healthcare Commission for an independent review of your case. The Healthcare Commission is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare. You can contact the Commission at:
Healthcare Commission
Complaints Investigation Team
Manchester, M1 9XZ
Tel: 0845 601 3012

Where can I get further advice and help?

From 1 April 2013, the Complaints Service for Primary Care will be managed on a national basis by the NHS Commissioning Board. All calls to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and complaints calls should be directed to the NHS Commissioning Board Service Desk on 0300 311 22 33. The calls will then be triaged by a central team, and where possible these will be closed with the complainant without further escalation. Where complaints cannot be resolved by the central team, these will be passed to the local area representative for Devon and Cornwall to investigate and report to the NHS Commissioning Board Area Team. This representative will be based in Exeter and will investigate all complex Primary Care complaints for the Peninsula.

St Leonard's Practice

The Surgery
Athelstan Road
Exeter EX1 1SB

Surgery opening hours
Monday to Friday 08:15 - 18:00
Closed Wed 13:00 - 14:00

Appointment Line: 01392 201 791
General Enquiries: 01392 201 790

Surgery telephone hours
Monday to Friday 08:30 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 18:00

The St Leonard's Practice provides GP and family doctor services to patients in Exeter, Wonford, Heavitree, St Leonard's, Whipton, Stoke Hill and Pennsylvania.