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Complaints Procedure

Making a complaint

Suffolk GP Federation aims to provide patients with the best care we can, but we will sometimes fall short of the mark. If you have any compliments, comments, concerns or complaints about our service we want to hear about them.

If you would like to make a formal complaint please send these to:

Suffolk GP Federation
Riverside Clinic
2 Landseer Road

In all cases complaints will be dealt with as swiftly and as fairly as possible. On receipt of a written or verbal complaint we will write to you advising that the complaint is being treated under the Suffolk Federation’s complaints´ procedure and that a formal reply from a senior doctor, who is not directly involved, will be sent to you within one week. If you wish to make a complaint anonymously, we will still investigate, but will not be able to feed back to you.

The Federation’s complaints policy is available here.

What we do next

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 would like to do so.

When the investigations are complete, your complaint will be determined and a final response sent to you.

Your final response letter may include:

  • The investigation findings and reasons for decisions (where appropriate)
  • Where errors have occurred, an explanation and future measures to ensure it doesn’t occur again
  • An apology or explanation as appropriate
  • Advise on next-steps if you are still not satisfied
  • An explanation of your right to escalate the complaint and relevant contact details

Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (e.g. social services) we will show you where to make a complaint regarding the other organisation. It may be that separate investigations will be conducted by each organisation involved.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

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 written consent from the patient to confirm that we can deal with a third party about their complaint.

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 and on occasion we may still need to correspond direct with the patient.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

In the event that you are not satisfied with the outcome, we will ask you to meet with the partners to discuss the case further. If this does not meet your satisfaction the case will be referred to PALS or The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for further investigation.


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.

PALS freephone number is 0800 389 6819

The Health Service Ombudsman

If you are still unsatisfied with how your complaint was dealt with, you can take the matter to the Ombudsman. However you must be able to provide reasons for your continued dissatisfaction and demonstrate that you are suffering continued hardship or injustice or that you have a reasonable chance of achieving a worthwhile outcome.



Where the investigation of your complaint requires consideration of your medical records, you will need to give consent regarding the disclosure of any information contained in those records.

The practice will keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints but such records will be kept entirely separate from patient medical records.


We value patient feedback on clinical and non-clinical services, administrative processes and patient experience as it provides invaluable information about the services we provide as well as suggestions and comments about how we can improve our services to patients.

If you feel you can give us valuable feedback to help improve out complains process, please ask at reception for our Complaints Feedback form.

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