Suggestions and Complaints

There are two ways patients can make a complaint regarding primary care services - they can submit a complaint directly to the healthcare provider, or may refer the matter to the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) as commissioner of the service.

If you have any comments or criticisms about the service provided by the practice you are entitled to request an investigation and explanation. We try to provide the best service for our patients and encourage you to let us know about any difficulties.

Patient complaint form, inc third-party consent

If you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the personnel working in this practice, please let us know. If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care.

Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily with the person concerned, often at the time they arise, 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, giving as much detail as you can, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily.

In any event, this should be:

  • Within 12months of the incident
  • Within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter


In writing to:
Tracey Darrington
Managing Partner
Locke Road
Durranhill Industrial Estate
Via email to our Senior Management Team:


We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality (a separate leaflet giving more detail on confidentiality is available on request). If you are not the patient, but are complaining on their behalf, 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. An authority signed by the person concerned will be needed. Please complete a third-party consent form attached.

In the event the patient is deceased, then we may agree to respond to a family member or anyone acting on their behalf or who has had an interest in the welfare of the patient.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that 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.  You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who is capable of making their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.

We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.


We will usually acknowledge receipt within 3 working days, and aim to resolve the matter as soon as possible but will give you some idea of how long that may take at the outset. You will then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses. When looking into a complaint, we attempt to see what happened and why, to see if there is something we can learn from this, and make it possible for you to discuss the issue with those involved if you wish to do so.

When the investigations are complete, a final written response will be sent to you.

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 initially sent to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.

The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to refer the matter further to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (details shown elsewhere in this leaflet) if you remain dissatisfied with the response.


If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint which was handled by the Practice, you may refer the matter to the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) as commissioner of the service.

Primary Care Complaints
c/o North of England Commissioning Support Unit
John Snow House
University Science Park
Durham DH1 3YG
Telephone: 0191 512 8277

If you are still not satisfied by their response, the next step would be to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review how the complaint has been handled.

Their complaints helpline can be contacted via their website

Please note, they have updated their procedure and now only look further into the more serious cases.

Full information regarding their service update can be found via their website.


You may also approach Healthwatch or the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy for help or advice;

The local Healthwatch can be found at:

The IHCA is able to be contacted at: