Comments and Complaints




What to do when there is a problem, and how to provide feedback to the practice about the services we provide.

The staff at Gillingham Medical Practice are always interested to hear from patients about what they are getting right and what services could be improved.

 You can provide feedback in a number of ways:

  • Talk to a member of the team
  • Complete a patient survey (available at reception or on our website)
  • Complete a Friends & Family questionnaire (available in our waiting rooms or on our website)
  • Write or speak to the Practice Manager

Feedback, where appropriate, is regularly shared within the practice team and anonymously with our Patient Participation Group.

If none of the above methods are appropriate for something you would like a specific response about, or if you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know. A complaints form can be obtained from Reception. Alternatively, please contact the Practice Manager via our online form.

Read below for further information alternatively please contact the Practice Manager at either The Barn or Peacemarsh surgeries.


Making a Complaint

Most problems can be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time they arise with the person concerned and this may be the approach you try first.

Where you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, preferably in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be:

  • Within 12 months of the incident,


  • within 12 months of you discovering that you giving as much detail as you can.

If you are a registered patient, you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. See the separate section in this page.

We are able to provide you with a separate complaints form to register your complaint, and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. Please ask at reception for this. You can provide this in your own format providing this covers all the necessary aspects.

Send your written complaint to:

Julie Judd, Practice Manager
The Barn Surgery
Dorset, SP8 4XS

You may wish to complete the complaint online. Use our form to contact us online.

You may also make your complaint directly to NHS England, who commission our service:

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


What we do next

We look to settle complaints as soon as possible.

We will acknowledge receipt within 5 working days, and aim to have looked into the matter within 10 working days. You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or you may be invited to meet with the person(s) concerned to attempt to resolve the issue. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know, and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.

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.

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. 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.

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.


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


If you are dissatisfied with the outcome

You have the right to approach the Parliamentary & Health Ombudsman. The contact details are:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

  • Customer helpline: 0345 015 4033  (8:30am - 5:30pm - Monday - Friday)
  • Website

You may also approach PALS, Healthwatch or the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy for help or advice.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

You may also approach PALS for help or advice;

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care we provide, guiding you through the different services available from the NHS.

PALS may be contacted by post, telephone or email.

Customer Services/PALS Co-ordinator
Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
11 Shelley Road


  • In person: at any Citizens Advice Bureau
  • By telephone: 0300 111 0102
  • By post: Healthwatch Dorset, Freepost BH1902, 896 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6BR
  • By e-mail via the website

Dorset Advocacy

Dorset Advocacy works to provide relief for people living in Dorset with a learning, physical or mental disability, and those suffering frailty through age, to assist them to protect their rights and gain equality of opportunity.