Comments & 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 and she will deal with your concerns appropriately. Further written information is available on the complaints procedure from reception.

We are continually striving to improve our service. Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated and a suggestion box is located in the waiting area or on the home page of our website.


Raising complaints and concerns

Thinking about making a complaint

We will listen to you and try to put things right.

You have a right to tell us if you are unhappy with your care or treatment.

You can ask to speak with one of our manager to discuss your concerns.

We will listen to you and try to resolve these for you quickly.

If you remain unhappy, we will give you information on how you can make a complaint.

Making a complaint

We will make it easy for you to make a complaint.

You can speak to any member of staff.

We will advise you how to make a complaint and will offer you our complaint pack.

You can talk to us, write to us or email us.

We will take your complaint seriously.

Making a complaint will not affect how you are treated.

We will let you know about support available to help you make a complaint.

Keeping you up to date

We will keep you updated on our progress.

We will communicate with you about your complaint.

We will try to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

We will agree with you a time by when we will respond.

We will keep you updated on our progress.

Outcome of your complaint

We will respond in a timely manner.

We will let you know the outcome of your complaint in the agreed timescale.

We will address each of your concerns.

We will explain things clearly and be open and honest with you.

If you remain unhappy, you can talk to us again.

Learning from your complaint

We will let you know what changes we make.

We will let you know what changes we have/will make to put things right.

We will update you on our progress from any changes resulting from your complaint.

We will let you know how your complaint helped to improve our services.

We will share learning from your complaint with our staff and involve the in making positive changes.


Complaint procedure

Reviewed August 2022

Complaint Manager:
Mrs Deborah Mitchell

Making a complaint

Talk to us

Every patient has the right to make a complaint about the treatment or care they have received at Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre.

We understand that we may not always get everything right and, by telling us about the problem you have encountered, we will be able to improve our services and patient experience.

Who to talk to

Most complaints can be resolved at a local level.

Please speak to a member of staff if you have a complaint; our staff are trained to handle complaints.  Alternatively, ask to speak to the complaint’s manager, Deborah Mitchell.

A complaint can be made verbally or in writing.  A complaints form is available from reception. Additionally, you can complain via our online complaint form.

Time frames for complaints

The time constraint on bringing a complaint is 12 months from the occurrence giving rise to the complaint, or 12 months from the time you become aware of the matter about which you wish to complain.

The complaints manager will respond to all complaints within three business days.

We will aim to investigate and provide you with the findings as soon as we can and will provide regular updates regarding the investigation of your complaint.


What we do next

Invesitgating complaints

Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre will investigate all complaints effectively and in conjunction with extant legislation and guidance.

When looking into a complaint we attempt to:

  • Find out what happened and why
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned.
  • Ensure that you receive an apology where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not arise again

If a meeting is arranged you may bring a friend or relative with 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 where possible. We may need your consent to do this. Where your complaint has been sent initially to an incorrect organisation, we may seek your consent to forward this to the correct person to deal with.

Final response

Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre will issue a final formal response to all complainants which will provide full details and the outcome of the complaint. We will liaise with you about the progress of any complaint.

The final response letter will include details of the result of your complaint and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.


Third party complaints

We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality.

If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, 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.

Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which 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.

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



Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre will ensure that all complaints are investigated with the utmost confidentiality and that any documents are held separately from the patient’s healthcare record.


Primary Care Services Complaint Team

From 1 July 2023 patients who wish to make a complaint about primary care services (GPs, dentists, opticians and coummunity pharmacy services) in Devon should contact the local integrated care board (ICB), NHS Devon, for advice and signposting.

In all cases NHS Devon will recommend a complainant raises their concerns or complaint directly with the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where the patient received the NHS service, for example a GP surgery or dental surgery.

NHS Devon will support patients and their representative with any concerns or complaints regarding primary care services in Devon, however, unless directly concerning the commissioning of the service will recommend any complaints are handled with the provider directly.

Contact details

NHS England commissioner

The handling of complaints within the NHS changed on 1 April 2013 to align with the new structure of the NHS. In most cases complaints should and will, in the first instance, be made directly to the provider (GP).

If the complainant does not wish to complain directly to the service provider (GP) then the complaint should be raised with the commissioner of that service.

The NHS England Customer Care Centre is available for patients to use if they have any complaint query or concern about GP services. All Primary Care complaints should be directed NHS England.

By telephone: 03003 11 22 33
By post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Online: NHS England website

Patients can talk to NHS England in British Sign Language (BSL) via a video call to a BSL interpreter.

A regional complaints team is in place across each of the four NHS England regions. These teams work closely with the NCC and provide a regional service to manage the Primary Care complaints that are received nationally but which can’t be instantly resolved and dealt with at a national level.

For serious incidents or safeguarding issues, NHS England will fast track the complaint directly to the regional area complaints teams for resolution.


If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

If possible, we will try to resolve your concerns within the practice.  However, if you are still dissatisfied once you have received our response / NHS England, you may approach the Ombudsman:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO):

If you are not content with NHS England's reply, the next step is to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint and how it has been handled.  Please write to:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, MillbankTower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Tel: 0345 0154033
Online: Ombudsman website

The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS):

ICAS provides free help and support for people bringing formal complaints to the NHS. This is an independent and confidential service available in this area through South England Advocacy Projects (SEAP).

(Support Empower Advocate Promote)
7th Floor Cavendish House 
Breeds Place 
East Sussex TN34 3AA 
Tele: 0330 440 9000 
Fax: 01424 204687 

East Devon Citizens Advice Bureau:

Town Hall, St Andrews Road
Exmouth, EX8 1AW 
Tel: 01395 264645

Devon Advocacy Consortium:

c/o Living Options Devon
Ground Floor Units 3-4, Cranmere Court
Lustleigh Close
Matford Business Park, Exeter, EX2 8PW
Tel: 0845 231 1900
Online: Devon Advocacy Consortium

POhWER support centre can be contacted via 0300 456 2370

RD&E Hospital complaints

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)

Tel: 01392 402093

What is PALS?


To obtain a copy of our full practice complaints procedure please contact us.