Complaints Procedure

Dr Gellia & Dr Balaraman

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 we are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and you wish to make a formal complaint please 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,
  • or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the matter giving as much detail as you can.

Registered patients may complain about your own care, where they are able. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority.  If you wish to submit a claim on someone’s behalf we can provide a complaints form which includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. You do not have to use the form, you may still submit your complaint in writing providing this covers all the necessary aspects.

Please send your written complaint to:

Felicity Tait
Practice Manager
Dr Gellia & Dr Balaraman
Monkwearmouth Health Centre
Dundas Street

What we do Next

We look to settle complaints as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt within 3 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 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, for instance a local hospital, we will liaise with that organisation so that you receive one coordinated reply and we may need your consent to do this, however we cannot provide a response on their behalf. 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. Alternatively, we will send one to you to return to us when we receive your initial written complaint.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that 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. You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who is capable of making their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.

We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.

If you are Dissatisfied With the Outcome

We hope that if you have a problem you will use our Practice complaints procedure.  We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and the opportunity to improve our practice.  However this does not affect your right to approach a relevant organisation if you feel you cannot raise your complaint with us.

Contact details are:

NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 311 2233 (calls are charged at local rate)
Hours: 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri
Email: [email protected]

In addition, the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can offer help and support in submitting a complaint.

Contact details are:

North East NHS ICA
Room 312, DBH Gateshead
Aidan House
Sunderland Road

Freephone: 0808 802 3000
Email: [email protected]

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

The local Healthwatch can be found at:

The IHCA is able to be contacted at:

If you Remain Dissatisfied

You have the right to approach the Health Service Ombudsman.

The contact details are:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

Tel: 0345 0154033
Email: [email protected]
Website: (to complain online or download a paper form).