Complaints Policy


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How to Make a Complaint about NHS Services

NHS staff will do whatever they can to make sure you get quick, fair and proper treatment.

However, sometimes things can go wrong and you might not be happy with the treatment you, a carer, a friend or a member of your family has received.

Why Complain?

Before you make a complaint, it is important to think about what you want to happen and to make this clear at the beginning. You may want:

  • An apology;
  • Someone to explain what has happened;
  • Some change or improvements to be made;
  • To make sure people recognise their
  • To make sure the same thing does not
    happen again.

The Complaints Procedure

There are two stages to the complaints procedure. ‘Local Resolution’ is the first stage, and ‘Independent Review’ is the second stage You can use the Complaints Procedure to complain about anything to do with NHS services.

If a patient wishes to make a complaint about an NHS service, their care will not be affected.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you are a patient or if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by any NHS service. You can also complain on behalf of someone provided you have their consent.

We can provide an appropriately worded authority should you need this.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

You should normally complain within twelve months of the events happening, or within twelve months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. These times can be extended if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier.

Will my complaint be kept confidential?

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, you will need to get their permission in writing before we can give you any of their personal information. If you are complaining about a treatment, the investigators will need to get the relevant information from your records. If you do not want them to do this, you should let the Complaints Manager know.

First Stage – Local Resolution

Local Resolution aims to sort out your complaint quickly, and as close as possible to the person, service or organisation you are complaining about.

If your complaint relates to services or treatment received through the Two Rivers Medical Centre please address your complaint to the Practice Operations Manager ().

If the Surgery is not involved you should contact the NHS Organisation providing the service. The Chief Officer at IESCCG can assist you with contact details.

Please present your complaint in writing. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days and we will aim to respond within 60 working days. If there is likely to be a delay, you will be kept in touch with the progress of the investigation into your complaint.

If you are not happy with the response you receive from the Surgery, or conciliation is not an option, you will be referred to the second stage – Independent Review.


Conciliation, or mediation, is one way to sort out your complaint at the Local Resolution stage. This process uses an independent lay conciliator to help sort out your concerns. The CCG will give you information on this service.

What if I am not happy with Local Resolution?

Second Stage – Independent Review

If you are still not satisfied after Local Resolution, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate your complaint. See the bottom of this page for contact details.

How can I get compensation for the poor treatment I have received?

The NHS complaints procedure cannot give you financial compensation. You would usually need to take legal action if you want to claim compensation.

If you would like more information about taking legal action, you can contact Action Against Medical Accidents, which provides confidential advice and support for victims of medical Accidents (see address at the bottom of this page).

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

This is a free confidential information service provided by IESCCG giving help and non-discriminatory advice to patients, their families and carers. Their main aim is to resolve problems and concerns for people using all NHS services before they become a major issue, so if you are not happy about something, but you do not want to make a complaint straightaway, you can speak to the PALS officer. PALS is not part of the official complaints procedure, but might be able to deal with your concerns informally. PALS can also give you more information if you do decide to make a formal complaint.

Where can I get more advice and help?

The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) can help people make a complaint or express a concern about NHS services. They can give you advice, write letters on your behalf and go with you to meetings. If you need particular help (for example, if English is not your first language) you can speak to ICAS.

Will I be asked to give personal information when I make a complaint?

You will be asked for some personal information, such as age, gender and ethnicity. This information, together with the reason for the complaint helps us to monitor the effectiveness of NHS services and plan our services to meet the needs of our local communities. Names are not included when using information for this purpose so that individuals cannot be identified.

We will keep all information you give us confidential.

Useful Addresses

Two Rivers Medical Centre

Debbie Lambe
Practice Operations Manager
30 Woodbridge Road East

Telephone: 01473 907788

Contact us online

Chief Officer (SNEE) Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board

Dr Ed Garratt
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road

Telephone: 01473 770169 / 01473 770150

Customer Contact Centre

Customer Contact Centre
NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33

The Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) IECCG

The Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) IECCG
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road

Telephone: 0800 389 6819 (freephone)

Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS)

Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS)
181 Wisbech Road

Telephone: 0845 456 1084

The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman

The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

Telephone: 0345 015 4033

Action Against Medical Accidents

Action Against Medical Accidents
Freedman House
Christopher Wren Yard
117 High Street
CR0 11QG

Telephone: 020 8688 9555