Complaints Policy (PART 1)




 Policy Statement

The purpose of this document is to ensure that all staff are aware of the complaints procedure within TWHS affording patients or their representatives the opportunity to make a complaint about the care or treatment they have received by the organisation. 

1.2         Status

This document and any procedures contained within it are non-contractual and may be modified or withdrawn at any time. For the avoidance of doubt, it does not form part of your contract of employment.

Training and Support

The organisation will provide guidance and support to help those to whom it applies to understand their rights and responsibilities under this policy. Additional support will be provided to managers and supervisors to enable them to deal more effectively with matters arising from this policy.



2.1      Legislation

Every NHS facility has a complaints procedure. This permits a patient (or their nominated representative) to submit a complaint either to the NHS organisation or the organisation that has been commissioned by the NHS to provide a service.  This organisation adopts a patient-focused approach to complaint handling in accordance with the National Health Service England Complaints Policy (2021). This process must detail how to complain about any aspect of NHS care, treatment or service and this is a requirement written into the NHS Constitution.

2.2       Definition of a complaint versus a concern

NHS England defines that a concern is something that a service user is worried or nervous about and this can be resolved at the time the concern is raised whereas a complaint is a statement about something that is wrong or that the service user is dissatisfied with which requires a response.

There is no difference between a “formal” and an “informal” complaint. Both are expressions of dissatisfaction.

It is the responsibility of the complaints manager to consider whether the complaint is informal and therefore early resolution of an issue may be possible. If the complaints manager believes an issue can be resolved quickly then TWHS will aim to do this in 10 days. This will then be categorised as a concern and not a complaint.

However, if the enquirer is clear that they wish to formalise the complaint, then the organisation will follow this complaints policy in full.

2.3       Complaints information

TWHS has displayed notices in both waiting rooms detailing the complaints process. In addition, the process is included on the website and a complaints leaflet is available upon request.

2.4       Responsible Person

At TWHS, the responsible person is Dr Vanisha Chauhan. They are responsible for ensuring compliance with the complaints regulation and making sure action is taken as a result of the complaint.

2.5       Complaints Manager  

At TWHS the complaints manager is the Practice Manager, Katie Chambers. They are responsible for managing all complaints procedures and must be readily identifiable to service users.

2.6       Duty of candour  

This is a general duty to be open and transparent with people receiving care at TWHS. Both the statutory duty of candour and professional duty of candour have similar aims, to make sure that those providing care are open and transparent with the people using their services whether or not something has gone wrong.       

2.7       Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The Ombudsman’s role is to make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved locally by the NHS in England. The Ombudsman looks at complaints where someone believes there has been injustice or hardship because an organisation has not acted properly or has given a poor service and not put things right. The Ombudsman can recommend that organisations provide explanations, apologies and financial remedies to service users and that they take action to improve services.

2.8       Complainant options

The complainant, or their representative, can complain about any aspect of care or treatment they received at this organisation to:


1.    The Complaints Manager (Via the email)

2.    NHS England  on 03003 112233

NHS England

PO Box 16738


B97 9PT 


3.    The ICB – the commissioners for this practice (with effect from 1 July 2023)

NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB

Block C, 1st Floor

Dukes Court



GU21 5BH


0300 561 2500


While this was previously NHS England or the organisation, should a complainant have an ongoing complaint that was submitted to NHS England prior to 1 July 2023, they will receive a letter from explaining that their complaint will continue to be investigated by NHS England along with details of their case handler?

If NHS England receive a complaint on or after 1 July, the complainant will receive a letter advising that the ICB will be handling their complaint along with details of their case handler.

As complaints also come directly to this organisation, we have adopted a patient-focused approach to complaint handling.

Complaints are not escalated to an ICB following the organisation’s response. A Stage 1 complaint is made to either the organisation or to the ICB.

If dissatisfied with the response from either ICB or the organisation, then the complainant may wish to escalate their complaint to the PHSO. This process is as detailed within the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations (2009) where it states that there should be two stages of dealing with complaints.