Practice Complaints Procedure

We will do whatever we can to ensure that you receive quick, fair and appropriate treatment. However, sometimes things can go wrong and you might not be happy with the treatment you, or a family member, has received.

If you are not happy with any aspect of the service you receive you can raise a concern or make a complaint.

How to Raise a Concern

A patient may have a concern which they do not feel is serious enough to warrant pursuing the full complaints procedure. Our Managing Partner is willing to speak to any patient who wishes to raise a concern over any aspect relating to the practice.

How to complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, preferably 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 this should be within a few days, or at most a few weeks. If this is not possible there are time limits for making a complaint. These are:

  • Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem


  • Within 12 months of discovering that you have a problem

This time limit will not apply if there are good reasons for not making a complaint within the time limit and if it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

Complaints should be addressed to Ms Nicola Davies, Managing Partner and/or Ms Souzana Theofanopoulou, Business Manager. You can make your complaint online using our Complaints Form or contact us via phone, or via post: Highgate Group Practice, 44 North Hill, Highgate N6 4QA. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment with Ms Davies to discuss your concerns.

Before you make a complaint it is important to think about what you want to happen as a result of your complaint and to make this clear at the beginning.   You may want:

  • an apology
  • someone to explain what has happened
  • some changes or improvements to be made
  • to be sure people recognise their mistakes
  • to make sure the same thing does not happen again

What we shall do

We shall acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have fully investigated within a reasonable time depending on its complexity. We will endeavour to offer you an explanation within that time frame, or a meeting with the people involved. If the complaint is more complex, we will work out a complaints plan to ensure the issues are properly investigated. If it is not possible to conclude any investigations within the advised timescale, then the complainant will be updated with progress and revised time scales on a regular basis. In most cases these should be completed within six months unless all parties agree to an extension.

When we look into your complaint we will aim to:

  • find out what happened and what went wrong
  • make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those involved, if  you would like this
  • make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate
  • identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again

Complaining on behalf of someone else

We keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we need to know that you have their permission to do so. We will require written permission from the person unless they are incapable (i.e. due to illness) of providing this.

How to get assistance with the process

If you would prefer to speak to someone not directly involved with your care, you contact NHS England.

The contact details are:

NHS England

PO Box 16738

B97 9PT

0300 311 22 33

[email protected]

You can find more information here

Complaints Advocacy Service

POhWER is a charity that provides information, advocacy and independent advice across England.

If you need any help from an independent body you may wish to contact POhWER London Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service

You can contact POhWER on 0300 456 2370 

They offer free direct and local support via Professionals and Volunteers. POhWER reaches individuals struggling with particular challenges in their lives, and help make their voices be heard. POhWER can support and empower you to express your views and concerns and access information and services where needed.

What if I am not happy?

We hope that all complaints can be dealt with to the satisfaction of both parties. However if you are not happy with our reply or consider that the complaint has not been resolved you can appeal to the Parliamentary and Health Service Commissioner (Ombudsman).

The telephone number is 0345 015 4033   Contact the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tower 30
London SW1P 4QP

E: email the Ombudsman 

Points to remember

The practice is required by the Department of Health to record information on complaints received by the practice. This information relates ethnic background, age and sex. No other personal information is included.


  • All complaints are treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Making a complaint will not affect your treatment or care.
  • We want you to let us know if you are unhappy or have a suggestion about how we can do things better.

There are two ways a person can make a complaint

  • They can complain to the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where they received the NHS service, for example a GP surgery or dental surgery.  
  • They can complain to the commissioner of the service: this is the organisation that paid for the service or care they received.

After 1 July 2023 if a person wants to make a complaint about primary care services to the commissioner they should now contact their local integrated Care Board instead of NHS England. 

Other organisations that can help you make a complaint about health services

Statistics and reporting

The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.