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 may be able to deal directly with the third-party, and this depends on the wording of the authority provided.



If you choose to register your complaint with NHS England you can do this either orally, in writing or electronically.

The contact details for NHS England are:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 2233
Please write ‘For the attention of the Complaints Manager’ in the subject line.


For help, advice and advocacy you may also approach Healthwatch Hampshire.

The contact details for Healthwatch Hampshire are:

Healthwatch Hampshire
Unit 12, Winnall Valley Road
SO23 0LD
Tel: 01962 440 262


Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

If your complaint is related to service you have received or problems with a Hospital, Mental Health or Community Trust then you will need to make your complaint directly to the organisation concerned or your local CCG. You can only complain to one or the other – however the CCG will take up your complaint and investigate it with the Hospital / Community Trust. The CCG does not deal with complaints about Dentists, Pharmacists, Opticians or GPs.

The contact details for the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group Patient Experience and Complaints team are:

Tel: 0800 456 1633


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: February 2022