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Complaints Procedure


        S  U  R  G  E  R  Y

27 Mar 2020 -   Complaints will continue to be investigated in line with the HSC Complaints Procedure, however, responses within the required response time (10 working days) will most likely not be met in the current climate.


Patient concerns will be treated seriously and will be investigated and responded to as soon as is possible, but given the current extenuating circumstances, there may be a considerable delay in doing so.  This is a temporary situation and will be reviewed every 4-6 weeks by the HSC Complaints Department.


                                                       (Information Pack available at Reception)

 Complaints Co-ordinators:                        Mrs Diane Lavery                            Dr N Lavin

                                                                    Practice Manager                             Practitioner 

                                                                        Non-Clinical                                     Clinical                                               

If you have a complaint or are concerned about the services or treatment you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in our practice, please let us know.  We operate a complaints procedure to deal with any complaints which meets the criteria agreed for Health & Social Care Services. 

Patients are informed of the complaints procedure by poster in reception and Practice leaflet.

Who can complain?

Any person can complain about any matter connected with the practice. Complaints may be made by:

  • a patient or client;
  • former patients, clients or visitors using HSC services and facilities;
  • someone acting on behalf of existing or former patients or clients, providing they have obtained the patient’s or client’s consent;
  • parents (or persons with parental responsibility) on behalf of a child; and
  • any appropriate person in respect of a patient or client who has died e.g. the next of kin.

 How can you complain?

Hopefully most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often when they arise and with the person concerned.  If this is not possible, and you wish to formally make a complaint, let us know as soon as possible in order that we may find out what happened more easily. 

We can however, consider complaints made within six months of the date of discovering the problem, provided this is within twelve months of the incident.  If it is clearly reasonable in the circumstances to make a complaint after this and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case, we can consider extending this time limit.

If you wish to make a complaint, speak or write to the Practice Manager (Diane Lavery).  The complaints procedure will be explained to you and you will be given assurance that your concerns are dealt with promptly in an independent and unbiased manner.  It will be helpful if you are as specific as possible about your complaint. 

What Happens Next?

All complaints, verbal or written, are entered in the Practice Complaints Register, given a unique identity number and date tracked.

We shall acknowledge written complaints either orally or in writing, normally within two to three working days.  We aim to have looked into your complaint within 10 working days from the date of receipt, if an honest broker is used this could extend to 20 working days. 

Administrative complaints are investigated by Mrs Lavery.  Clinical complaints are investigated by Dr Lavin.  Findings are discussed at Partners’ meeting and suggestions for improvement implemented.

A written report is provided within 10 working days.  If this is not possible, the reason for the delay will be explained and a revised date for the completion of the investigation given.  The patient can meet with the Complaints Co-ordinators to discuss the complaint, investigation and findings.

All issues regarding the complaint will be dealt with in strictest confidence.  Future treatment will not be prejudiced in any way.

 In investigating your complaint we 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 this is appropriate.
  • Identify what can be done to make sure the problem does not happen again.

If you are dissatisfied with our initial response, the Health and Social Care Trust offer a local resolution options which you may wish to investigate.  Alternatively if you feel that local resolution has been exhausted you can take your complaint to the Patient/Client Council or the Complaints Ombudsman.


Staff are aware of their legal and ethical duty to protect the confidentiality of patients. These legal requirements are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Complaints by a third party should be made with the written consent of the individual concerned.

  • There will be situations where it is not possible to obtain consent, such as: where the individual is a child and not of sufficient age or understanding to make a complaint on their own behalf
  • where the individual is incapable (for example, rendered unconscious due to an accident; judgement impaired by learning disability, mental illness, brain injury or serious communication problems)
  • where the subject of the complaint is deceased

Complaining to the Health & Social Care Board

You can contact the Trust Complaints Office at:


Michael Cruikshanks


12-22 Linenhall Street



Tel 028 95 363266 for Mr Cruikshanks

or ring the Hot line on 028 9536 3893

 If you have difficulty in approaching the Practice to address your complaint, the Health & Social Care Board can also offer an honest broker role, where they can be given assist and advise you on taking your complaint forward.

Alternatively, contact can be made with the Patient Client Council or the Ombudsman who can also offer assistance with your complaint. They can be contacted at:

Patient and Client Council

Bronte Mayo

Patient and Client Support Officer

Northern Area Office

Houston’s Mill Site

10A Buckna Road


BT42 4NJ

Tel 028 25 863950


Mr Tom Frawley

Northern Ireland Ombudsman

Progressive House

33 Wellington Place



Tel 028 90 233821




S  U  R  G  E  R  Y

                                          COMPLAINT DETAILS FORM


 Date: _________


 Complainant’s Name: __________________


 Address: _________________________________________________________






Details of Complaint



Date occurred: _________



Staff involved: _________________________________________________________





Description: _________________________________________________________
















Description continued: _________________________________________________________



























Complaints Co-ordinator:             Mrs D Lavery

                                                            Practice Manager


                                                            Dr N Lavin

                                                            GP Partner



Complainant Signature: _______________  Date: _________



Practice Manager Signature: _______________      Date: _________





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