Comments and Queries
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. They provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers. You can contact PALS locally on
0800 032 0202. PALS provides help in many ways. For example, it can:help you with health-related questions,help resolve concerns or problems when you're using the NHS, tell you how to get more involved in your own healthcare
PALS can give you information about the NHS, the NHS complaints procedure, including how to get independent help if you want to make a complaint, support groups outside the NHS. PALS also helps to improve the NHS by listening to your concerns and suggestions.
If you have a complaint or concern about the service that you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in the Practice, please let us know.
How to Complain
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.
You should normally make a complaint within twelve months of the event, or within twelve months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. However, these time limits may be waived if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and if we are still able to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively in spite of the delay.
Complaints can be made either orally or in writing to the Managing Partner..
What We Will Do
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days either orally or in writing and will let you know how we will proceed with your complaint.
We will aim to investigate and deal with all complaints efficiently and speedily. We will send you a written response with a report on the investigation as soon as reasonably practicable. We will keep you informed if there are any delays in the process.
When we look into your complaints, we will aim to:
find out what happened and what went wrong
advise you what we will do to put the matter right
make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate
identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again
We hope that if you have a problem you will use our complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and an opportunity to improve the services provided by our Practice.
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint at local level you can ask the Ombudsman to independently review your case by writing to:
The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
Or phone: 0345 015 4033
If you would like help making a complaint you can use Independent Complaints Advocacy in Northumberland (ICAN). They can be contacted at: Free post, PO Box 205, Hexham, NE46 9EA or by phone on 03332 408 468.
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 to do so. A letter signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this. Parents/Guardians are usually able to complain on behalf of their child.
Positive comments and suggestions for improvement are always welcome. We have a suggestions box in the Practice and we welcome comments via our online partner iwantgreatcare. We regularly review all comments and produce feedback for patients in our newsletters and in the form of a "you said we did" poster that is displayed in the surgery.
Friends and Family Test
We are also promoting the NHS Friends and Family Test which is a simple question asking if you would recommend our service to your friends and family. Each time you use any of our services you can complete the test, either using the Friends and Family Test comment card or our Friends and Family touchscreen device. The latest Friends and Family score is displayed here
Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. They exist to ensure that people are at the heart of care, listening to what people like about services or what could be improved and we share their views with those with the power to make change happen. They also help people find the information they need about services in their area.
You can contact them to provide feedback via their website www.healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk