Complaints Procedure

Combe Coastal Practice In-House Complaints Procedure

We always try to give you the best services possible and any problems or concerns that arise can usually be sorted out quickly and easily, often at the time and with the person concerned. However, there may be times when you feel this has not happened.

Where you are not able to resolve the issue in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should do so, in writing to the Practice Manager, ideally within a few days, as this helps to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be within 12 months of the incident.

We hope you will use our in-house complaints procedure and allow us to look into and, if necessary, put right any problems you have identified or mistakes that have been made. This complaints procedure is designed to provide properly authorised complainants with an explanation of the circumstances surrounding an adverse event.

If you use this procedure, it will not affect your right to complain to the appropriate bodies whose contact details are detailed below.

We think it is important to deal with complaints swiftly and we will try to address your concerns fully, provide you with an explanation and discuss any action that may be needed. Our practice procedure is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation.

When looking into a complaint we attempt to see what happened and why to see if there is something we can learn from this.

What you should expect to happen to your complaint:

1) You will be encouraged to put your complaint in writing to the Practice Management Team. This should be within 12 months of the incident.

2) The Practice Management Team will acknowledge receipt of your letter within 3 working days and aim to respond to the complaint within 10 working days. If the matter is likely to take longer than this we will let you know and keep you informed as the investigation progresses.

3) If the Doctors consider that the in-house procedure is inappropriate in a particular case, the Management Team will advise you how the complaint may be pursued through other channels, such as those listed on the back page of this leaflet.

4) When looking into a complaint, the Management Team will liaise with the Doctors and any other staff members necessary to complete the investigation. Only those who need to know willbe told about your complaint.

5) You may then receive a formal reply in writing, or be invited to meet with the Practice Manager to attempt to resolve the issue.

6) When the investigations are complete you will receive a final response which will include details of the result of your complaint. It is your right to escalate the matter further should you remain dissatisfied with this response.

Where your complaint involves more than one organisation we will liaise with them so that you receive one co-ordinated reply. We may need your written consent to do this.

An annual review of complaints will be undertaken by the Doctors and the Management Team.

Complaining on behalf of someone else:

We keep to strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require written consent from the patient to confirm they are unhappy with their treatment and that they give authority for you to speak on their behalf.

Where the patient is incapable of providing such 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.

Further advice and help can be obtained from the following organisations:

Making a complaint about primary care services

From 1 July 2023 patients who wish to make a complaint about primary care services in Devon should contact the local integrated care board (ICB), NHS Devon, for advice and signposting.

This includes GPs, dentists, opticians, and community pharmacy services.

In all cases NHS Devon will recommend a complainant raises their concerns or complaint directly with the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where the patient received the NHS service, for example a GP surgery or dental surgery.

NHS Devon will support patients and their representative with any concerns or complaints regarding primary care services in Devon, however, unless directly concerning the commissioning of the service will recommend any complaints are handled with the provider directly.

Contact details

  • Telephone: 0300 123 1672
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Post: Patient Advice and Complaints team, Pomona House, Edginswell Business Park, Oak View Close Torquay TQ2 7FF

Contact information can also be found on the One Devon website:

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

If you have a genuine concern about a staff member or regulated activity carried on by this Practice then you can contact the CQC.

National Customer Service Centre: Telephone: 03000 616161 or via their website

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman

Citygate, Mosley Street, Manchester.  M2 3HQ

Tel: 0345 015 4033   Website: