Blackthorn Health Centre Complaints Policy

How to Make a Complaint

People wishing to complain may choose to make their complaint orally, in writing or electronically either to the practice directly, or to NHS England.

Most complaints can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.

Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few 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.

Complaints can usually be resolved within 6 months.

Please state your case clearly giving as much detail as you can.

If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate information below.

Send your written complaint to:
Complaints Manager
Blackthorn Health Centre
Satchell Lane
SO31 4NQ

Alternatively, you can file your complaint electronically via our Complaints Form.


What we do next

We look to settle complaints as soon as possible.

Where practicably possible, we will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of receipt, or as soon as possible afterwards.

Your complaints will be reviewed by the Complaints Manager and where clinically appropriate, the Senior GP Partner (who is also the Responsible Clinical Person for complaints).

In accordance with NHS England's complaints policy, there is no set timeframe to resolve your complaint as this will depend on the nature of your complaint. However, if you have made a complaint but do not receive a response or decision for more than 6 months, you should be notified as to the reason for the delay.

Once we have thoroughly investigated your complaint, we will then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with the relevant people involved.

When we look at your complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again

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 organisation to deal with.

When the investigations are complete a final response will be sent to you. This final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.


Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else

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.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still 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 may still need to correspond directly with the patient or the third-party organisation, but this will depend on the wording of the authority provided.



Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS)

NHS Hampshire & Isle of Wight ICS are responsible for the commissioning of GP services locally, including at Blackthorn Health Centre.

If you wish to complain to them about the service you have received at the Practice, you can do so via their complaints process below:

South East Complaints Hub
NHS Frimley ICB
Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
GU11 1AY
Tel: 0300 561 0290


Please note, you can either complain to the Practice or to the commissioner of the service(s). You cannot contact the commissioner of the service (including the ICB) if the Practice is in the process or has already reviewed your complaint.


If you are unsure where to direct your complaint, please contact the ICS Patient Experience Service, detailed below, in the first instance and the team will be able to advise you further.

Tel: 0300 561 2561



For help, advice and advocacy you may also approach Healthwatch Southampton NHS Complaints Advocacy Service, which is delivered by The Advocacy People.

The contact details for Healthwatch Southampton are:

Healthwatch Southampton
Southampton Voluntary Services
Kingsland Square
SO14 1NW
Tel: 0330 440 9000



If you are not Satisfied with the Outcome

You have the right to approach the Ombudsman.

The contact details for the Ombudsman are:

The Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Tel: 0345 015 4033



This policy was last reviewed: November 2023