Complaints Procedure


Practice complaints procedure

If you have a complaint or are concerned about the service or treatment you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. We operate a practice complaint procedure to deal with complaints, which meets the criteria agreed for the Health and Social Care Board. It does not cover services provided under a private arrangement between the practice and a patient.

How to complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the persons concerned. It your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days – this will help us to find out what happened more easily. Please complete the following Complaints Form:

Grove Medical Practice Complaints Form

Although you should make your complaint as soon as possible after the event we can consider complaints made within six months of the date of discovering the problem, provided this is within twelve months of the incident. It is clearly unreasonable in the circumstances to make a complaint earlier and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case we can consider extending this time limit.

Complaints regarding practice staff or the management of the practice should be addressed to Mrs Paula Douglas the Practice Manager at the practice. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Mrs Douglas. She will explain the complaints procedure to you and will ensure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. It will greatly assist us if you are as specific as possible about your complaint.

What we shall do

We shall acknowledge your complaint, normally within three working days, and aim to have looked into your complaint within ten working days of the date when you raised it with us. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, or a meeting with those involved.

In investigating your complaint, we shall aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Enable you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
  • Ensure you receive an apology, where it is appropriate – and
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
  • Copy of written complaints are sent to Health and Social Care Board.

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.

A note signed by the person concerned and witnessed by the patient will be needed. If this is not possible the complaint should be brought by the next of kin.

Complaining to your Health & Social Care Board

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will make use of our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will provide the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve our practice. This does not affect your right to approach the Health & Social Care Board, if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation, you may contact the complaints Department, Health & Social Care Board, Champion House, Linenhall Street, Belfast – Telephone number 9032 1313 for help who will act as an “honest broker”.

If you are not happy with the practice response you may wish to contact The NI Commissioner for complaints (the Ombudsman). Address and telephone number are: –

Telephone - 028 9023 3821
The Ombudsman’s Office, Progressive House, 33 Wellington Place, Belfast.

The Patient and Client Council offer assistance for complainants. Their contact details are: 1st Floor Ormeau Baths, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HS. Tel 0800 9170 222

Complaints made by GPs

GP’s and GP staff are also entitled to complain about a patient if they feel that the patient is being unreasonable or their conduct is causing particular difficulties for the practice. If you are the subject of a complaint we hope, however, that any concern or misunderstanding can be sorted out by you talking with the GP or manager.

Record Keeping

Complaints received by the practice are held on file by the practice manager.

Documentation is kept separate from the patient clinical record.

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