Complaints Policy


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Suggestions and Complaints

We make every effort to give the best service possible to everyone who attends our practice.

However, we are aware that things can go wrong resulting in a patient feeling that they have a genuine cause for complaint. If this is so, we would wish for the matter to be settled as quickly, and as amicably, as possible.

To pursue a complaint please contact the practice manager who will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available regarding the complaints procedure from reception.


Complaining on behalf of someone else

Medical records are protected under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and we strictly adhere with patient confidentiality.

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we need to know that you have their permission to do so. A consent form signed by the patient will be required unless they are incapable (e.g. due to illness) or you have a 'Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney'.

Please ask at Reception for a consent form if you require one.



Healthwatch West Sussex provides a free and independent health complaints advocacy service, which helps local people explore options for getting their voice heard when they feel something has gone wrong with their health service.

Their advocates support local people to explore their complaint options and can provide practical assistance, ranging from help in writing a complaint letter, attending a resolution meeting, and putting your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.

As Healthwatch West Sussex they can also work with the organisation and system to make sure learning from complaints helps to improve services for those who need them now and in the future.

Contact Healthwatch West Sussex



As a patient, relative or carer, you may not always know where to go for help, information, advice or support. It can be worrying and confusing, when you, or someone you know, is unwell. This is where the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help.

PALS is an independent and confidential service for anyone who would like advice, information and help, or who may have a concern about the care provided by Western Sussex Hospitals and other providers in West Sussex.

Most concerns you have can be dealt with quickly by discussing them with the health staff treating you. However, there are times when you need to speak to someone who can act independently on your behalf.

PALS will:

  • Help sort out any concerns or queries you may have about your care by working with you and your health care professionals.
  • Provide information about local health and health services.
  • Provide information about voluntary organisations and support groups.
  • Tell you about the formal NHS complaints procedure and give you advice on how to make a complaint.
  • Make sure your experience with the NHS is as easy and problem-free as possible.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to give your views on local services and use your suggestions on how these can be improved.

PALS cannot:

  • Act on any information given unless we have consent from the patient or legal guardian.
  • Deal with formal complaints, but we will give information on services that can help.
  • Give clinical advice.
  • Act as an advocate, although we can help find services that may be able to assist you.

Contact PALS

  • Telephone PALS: 01903 285032 (09:00 to 16:30, Monday to Friday)
  • Write to PALS: Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, Worthing Hospital, Lyndhurst Road, Worthing BN11 2DH
  • Visit the PALS website

Sometimes, PALS staff will be dealing with other clients and it may be necessary for you to leave a short message on the answer phone. They aim to get back to clients within one working day.


Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your complaint, you can approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Before referring any complaint to the Ombudsman, you must have followed the NHS Complaints Procedure and received a final response from the surgery. The Ombudsman will need a copy of this in writing.

The Ombudsman will not usually look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, or if you first became aware of it more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Contact the Ombudsman