Complaints Procedure

Making a complaint

If you have any complaints or concerns about the service that you have received from the Doctors or staff working for this practice, please let us know.

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint:

  • Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
  • Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, provided that is within 12 months of the incident.

The Practice Manager will be pleased to deal with any complaint. They will explain the procedure to you and make sure that your concerns are dealt with promptly. You can make your complaint:

  • In person – ask to speak to the Practice Manager
  • In writing – some complaints may be easier to explain in writing – please give as much information as can, then send your complaint to the practice for the attention of the Practice Manager as soon as possible.

What we shall do

Our complaints procedure is designed to make sure that we settle any complaints as quickly as possible.

We shall acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days and aim to have looked into your complaint within 10 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 the people involved.

When we look into 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 appropriate
  • identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.

At the end of the investigation your complaint will be discussed with you in detail, either in person or in writing.

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 his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.

What you can do next

We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe that this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and the opportunity to improve our practice.

However this does not affect your right to approach NHS England Kent & Medway if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us or you are dissatisfied with the way we are dealing with your complaint. The Customer Services and Patient Advice Service based at Darent Valley Hospital provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS. To contact them you can telephone 01322 428382, email pals@dvh.nhs.uk or click here to access their website.

If you are dissatisfied with this response, then you have the right to refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman, by writing to Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. They can also be contacted on helpline 0345 015 4033, www.ombudsman.org.uk or by email phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk. They would require a clear statement of what issues remained outstanding.

However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide an opportunity for us to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.

Help us get it right

We constantly try to improve the service we offer.

Please let us know when you think we have done something well or if you have any suggestions as to how we can do something better.