Complaint Procedure

Formal Complaints

There are obviously times when you feel we don’t get everything right and you may wish to lodge a more formal complaint. This may concern any aspect of medical care or administrative service. All formal complaints are handled initially by our Practice Manager , Mrs Natalie Dugmore and we follow the national guidelines for managing complaints. We aim to resolve these as quickly as we can.

How To Make a Complaint

Contact the Practice Manager by letter, telephone or in person, giving details of the difficulty you have had. Indicate that you wish to make a complaint. Please be prepared to give details if possible. Portway Family Practice keeps confidential records of all complaints made. The Practice Manager will send you a comment/complaint form to complete if you request this.

It is important that we hear of your complaint as soon as possible after the incident that caused the problem because this will help us establish what has happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:-
Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem;
Within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem.

What We Will Do

We will confirm receiving your complaint by letter or telephone within 3 working days and agree with you a plan and period of time for dealing with your complaint. After this, we will investigate the problem according to the agreed plan. Sometimes we make a written response to your complaint. When we look into a complaint we aim to:

  • Find out what happened;
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this;
  • If the problem is caused by our actions, do what we can to ensure it does not happen again;
  • If appropriate, provide you with an apology.

Many problems arise from lack of communication and understanding on the part of either party, and we hope that by discussion we can eliminate any differences. You may wish to leave the matter there.

If you remain dissatisfied and our response to your complaint does not address your concerns you can refer back to us for further comment if you wish. This should be within 25 working days of receipt of our reply to the complaint and a letter should be addressed to the Outlet Operations Manager. An appointment could be offered to you to discuss the matter with the Outlet Operations Manager and other appropriate members of the Practice, if you would like to do this. This meeting would include discussion of the difficulty or dissatisfaction you have had, comments from the Practice members present and agreements to take possible corrective actions and/or offer apologies. Relevant information from this meeting will be made available to other members of the Practice Team, if considered appropriate.

Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed (we can provide a form), unless they are incapable because of illness of providing this. In this case a permission form would normally be signed by the next of kin of the person concerned.

Has your complaint been dealt with to your satisfaction?

If the answer is no… is what you could do next……

Contact Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG who commission general practice services.

You can contact them:

By telephone: 0121 612 4110 (lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm, excluding bank holidays)

By email: [email protected]

By Post: Customer Care Team, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, Kingston House, 4th Floor Rear, 438 -450 High Street, West Bromwich. B70 9LD.

Contact NHS England who contract with general practice for the services we deliver.

You can contact them:

By telephone: 0300 311 2233 (lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am – 6.00pm, excluding bank holidays)

By email: [email protected]

Independent Review

Once you have been through the complaints procedure and if you do not feel satisfied with the final response you have the right under the NHS Complaints Procedure to ask the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman to investigate your case.

You can contact the Health Service Ombudsman on 0845 015 4033 or write to them at:

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
SW1P 4QPor visit their website at:

The Ombudsman is completely independent of both the NHS and the Government but will not normally take up complaints that have not been through the NHS Complaints Procedure first.

Help with writing letters and completing forms can be obtained from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) on 0845 120 3748.