Suggestions and Complaints

Complaints procedure image

At St Mary's Surgery we want our patients to receive the very highest standards of care. If you feel we have failed to reach these standards, please let us know as this can help us to improve services for other patients. All complaints are treated in confidence and will not be noted in your health records or affect your future treatment in any way. Your complaint will be handled in the same way regardless of ethnicity, age, gender or disability.


How to make a Complaint

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the incident about which you are complaining or within 12 months of you realising there was cause for complaint. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else then we will need his or her consent, unless they are unable to give consent because they are a child or are a person who is not mentally capable of making decisions about their own complaint. While we try to provide a good, friendly and efficient service we realise that occasionally things do not always go as smoothly as we would like. We are also interested to know of any thoughts and ideas you may have on what you find works well or things that could improve the service we offer. If you have any complaints, compliments, comments or suggestions on any matter connected to the running of the surgery please contact the Practice Manager.

St Mary's Surgery, 1 Johnson Street, Southampton, SO14 1LT, Tel: 023 8033 3778


The First Stage – Local Resolution

  • In the first instance, please put your complaint to the surgery in letter form and mark it for the attention of the Practice Manager.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days.
  • We will ask the appropriate Manager/s to carry out a thorough investigation.
  • Depending on the complexity of the complaint we will agree a timescale for response with you. If we are not able to meet the timescales, perhaps because staff are on holiday, we will write and tell you when we expect to be able to respond.
  • Following our written response, we will respond to any further concerns that you may raise and may offer you a meeting to discuss any unresolved issues.

The Next Stage

Anyone who feels that their complaint has not been handled satisfactorily by the practice can now complain directly to the Health Service Ombudsman.

If you are unsure about what to do next, or would like further help and advice, then please contact the Ombudsman's Helpline on 0345 015 4033. The helpline is currently open Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and Friday from 8.30am to 12pm, except bank holidays. Calls are charged at local or national rates.

The practice can supply you with a copy of the complaint form which can be filled out and sent to the Health Service Ombudsman at:

The Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman, Citygate, 47 – 51 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HQ

The form can also be completed online and accessed via the Ombudsman's website.


Other Useful Contacts

Healthwatch Southampton

If you need independent support to help make your complaint you may wish to contact Healthwatch Southampton who offer Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy.

Healthwatch provides support to people if they have a complaint regarding any National Health Service treatment. Their advocates can come and see you face-to-face at your home or in a place in which you feel comfortable if it is not possible for you to visit their offices.

Healthwatch can represent your views, thoughts and feelings and support you in getting your voice heard.

Healthwatch Southampton Advocacy Service can be contacted by Telephone on: 0330 440 9000

Or at their offices at: The advocacy people, PO Box 375, Hastings, TN34 9HU.

NHS England

If you do not wish to raise your complaint directly with the practice you can contact NHS England, who will investigate the matter and provide you with a response. You can contact them at the address below:

NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT.

If you are making a complaint please state: 'For the attention of the complaints team' in the subject line.

By telephone: 0300 311 22 33

Patient Advice and Liaison Services

You'll find a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in most hospitals.

You can speak with a PALS member, who'll try to help you resolve issues informally with the hospital before you need to make a complaint.

PALS can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.