Suggestions and Complaints




If you have a complaint or concern about the service or staff within this practice, please let us know.

We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system for dealing with complaints.

Our complaints system meets national criteria.


How to complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.  If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of a few days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.  If it is not possible to do that, please let us have the details of your complaint:

  • Within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem, or
  • Within 12 months of discovering you have a problem

Complaints should be addressed to:  

Mrs Christine Dowson, Practice Secretary
Orchard Court
Orchard Road
DL3 6HZ  

Alternatively, you could telephone and ask for an appointment to be made with Mrs Dowson to discuss your concerns, or request to see them at the time of the incident providing they are available.   

You may use the enclosed forms or write a letter of your own with full details of the complaint.


What we will do

Upon receiving your complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of this within three working days.  We aim to have a full reply to you with any findings and explanation as soon as possible.  When looking into complaint we will aim to:

  • Find out what happened and what went wrong
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, if you would like this
  • Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • Identify what we can do to ensure the problem does not happen again

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that due to strict medical confidentiality we are unable to make any comments regarding any events that happen to anyone other than yourself. Should you need to make a complaint on behalf of a friend or relative, we will require their written permission before any investigation. 

You may wish to contact Darlington Healthwatch to discuss any issues. This is a free and confidential service which aims to advise and support families and provide information on NHS services. They can also listen to any concerns patients may have and can sort out problems on behalf of patients. They can be contacted on: 

Tel: 0808 801 0383


Other contacts

We hope that if you have a problem you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the chance of correcting whatever has gone wrong. However, if you are not happy with the response you have had or feel you cannot use our procedure; you may contact NHS England:

PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

Tel: 0300 3112233


The Health Service Ombudsman

The Health Service Ombudsman has published a booklet that describes the ‘six principles for remedy’ in relation to complaints handling and involves:

  • Getting it right
  • Being customer focused
  • Being open and accountable
  • Acting fairly and proportionately
  • Putting things right
  • Seeking continuous improvements

If you remain unhappy after everything has been done to try to resolve your concern or complaint you have the right to approach the Ombudsman.

The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower