Elborough Street Surgery Complaints Procedure

Our aim is to encourage and welcome all feedback. We will always try to treat a complaint with sensitivity resolving issues as quickly as possible, assessing, acting on and sharing any learning outcomes that could prevent future occurrences. The complaints procedure is designed to encourage patients to voice concerns, whether clinical or administrative, with the assurance that they will be taken seriously and treated confidentially. We seek to provide a swift response which addresses issues raised, and to demonstrate our willingness to review and change if appropriate the systems we have in place or services that we provide.

As soon as a complaint has been received, whether through the post, at reception or to any other member of staff, the complaint will be referred to the Complaints Manager. The complainant will be encouraged to put the details in writing if the case appears to be complex. Complaints submitted verbally if resolved within 24 hours need not be recorded as a complaint but should be recorded as a concern. The Complaints Manager will contact the patient to discuss the details of the concern by telephone or email / letter.

All complaints, whether verbal or written, we aim to be acknowledged within three working days. The Complaints Manager will keep a written record of the complaint, with details of all discussions, communications and action taken.

Response Times

  1. Acknowledgement to complainant – aim to acknowledge within 3 days (where possible on the day of receipt)
  2. Clarify any parts of the complaint that are not clear if necessary. Agree how to deal with the complaint, for example next steps, offer a virtual meeting etc. if appropriate and desired outcomes.
  3. Signpost the complainant to advocacy if appropriate
  4. Create a plan for handling the complaint and negotiate timescales for response.

5 Elborough Street Surgery aim to give the complainant a full response within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint (unless otherwise discussed / agreed)

  1. Complaint Satisfaction Survey – with stamped addressed envelope is sent within 12 months of final response.

Dealing with the Complaint

In the first instance it may be appropriate that the Complaints Manager expresses regret after any initial discussion for the circumstances, which have caused the person to complain, and for any distress caused. A full explanation will be provided and issues appropriately rectified. The complainant will be asked at this stage if their concerns have been satisfied or if they would like the complaint to be addressed further. If not satisfied, the issues require liaison with others, or further investigation, the procedure for managing the complaint will be explained to the complainant.

If the complaint is clinical, the Investigating Partner, a nominated GP at the surgery will be informed. For organisational / Administrative (Non-Clinical) Complaints the Complaints Manager will discuss the events leading to the complaint with any members of staff concerned. If the complaint was due to a procedural problem, then this will be reviewed and a new procedure drawn up if appropriate, with training given to relevant staff. If the complaint was due to a personnel problem then the reason will be explored and discussed with the staff involved. It may be that further training needs are raised or a change in behaviour is required. Such issues will be addressed and actions agreed individually.

We will always try to rectify any mistake as quickly as possible. If it is unreasonable to implement changes, the complainant will be provided with an explanation as to why this is not appropriate.

If a complaint is clinical, the Complaints Manager will if it seems appropriate, ask the complainant whether they would be happy for the clinician that was involved to contact them. In the first instance, the Complaints Manager will approach the clinician involved and discuss the details of the complaint. Complaints can sometimes be due to a misunderstanding, or mismatch in terms of the patient / relative and clinician’s expectation during a consultation. This category of complaint can often be resolved by an apology and review of need over the telephone or at the next visit.

Other complaints may require an appointment or further consultation. The Investigating Partner, a GP, is notified of clinical complaints by the Complaints Manager either during the process of resolution or afterwards. In their absence another nominated GP Partner will take this role. The Investigating Clinician will discuss any clinical concerns raised with the clinician involved in the complaint and ensure that any appropriate consultation with their medical defence association has taken place. The Investigating Clinician will try to unpick the events leading to the complaint and ensure that any learning outcomes are shared in the same manner as non-clinical complaints.

The Complaints Manager should always be provided with a full written summary of any discussions leading to resolution. Complaints requiring communication with external organisations; sometimes a complaint will require us to liaise with hospitals or other trusts. In such cases there may be delays in compiling / sending out a final response. If there is a delay the complainant will be informed of the realistic time frames involved.

Satisfaction of Complaints Process Survey

An audit will be carried out after resolution to ensure that the complaint was dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant. A questionnaire is sent out with a stamped addressed envelope within 12 months of receipt of complaints. This will be returned to the Complaints Manager, reviewed then filed in the complaint documentation which is kept separate from the clinical record.

Monitoring Complaints

The Complaints Manager logs all compliments, suggestions and complaints in categories for annual statistical reporting to our team and NHS England. This allows us to spot trends or recurring issues.

Nominated Representatives for Complaints Handling at Elborough Street Surgery

Complaints Manager – Samuel Metcalf, Practice Manager

Deputy Complaints Manager – Matthew Deans, Reception Manager (in absence of Complaints Manager)

Investigating Partner (Clinical Complaints) – Dr Kate Kandasamy GP Partner

Deputy Investigating Partner – Dr Laura Quinton GP Partner (in absence of Investigating Partner)


If patients wish to email in their complaint they can write to samuel.metcalf@nhs.net

Other Useful Contacts

For general questions on complaints you can contact the Customer Care Team (formerly known as PALs and Complaints) for Wandsworth ICB who will do their best to help:

Email: contactus@swlondon.nhs.uk       Tel: 0800 026 6082

NHS Complaints Advocacy

POhWER is a charity that helps people to be involved in decisions being made about their care.

Call POhWER’s support centre on: 033 456 2370 for advice

SeAp Advocacy gives advocacy support. Call: 0330 4409 000 for advice or text SEAP to 80800 and someone will get back to you

Unit B203
Trident Business Centre
89 Bickersteth Road
Tooting SW17 9SH
Tel: 0300 330 5454

Email: wandsworth@voiceability.org
Website: www.nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org

Patients who have a comment or complaint about a GP, Pharmacy or optician which cannot be resolved locally with the manager at the practice can contact NHS England using the details below;

NHS England
PO BOX 16738
Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: england.contactus@nhs.net

In the event of a complaint not being resolved to complainant’s satisfaction they have the right to approach;

The Parliamentary Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
London SW1P 4QP
Tel: 0345 015 4033

Updated by Samuel Metcalf
June 2023
Next review June 2024