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 you are not able to resolve your complaint in this way and wish to make a formal complaint you should 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 discovering that you giving as much detail as you can.

Making a complaint on your own behalf

If you are a registered patient you can complain about your own care. You are unable to complain about someone else’s treatment without their written authority. You can make a claim about your own care using the online form below or send your written complaint to:

Practice Manager,
Elm Practice,
1a Fountayne Road,
London, N16 7EA

Online complaints form

(to be used if making a complaint on you own behalf)

Elm Practice Complaints Form
(Include dates, times and names of Practice personnel, if known)

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.

There is a separate complaints form to register your complaint and this includes a third-party authority form to enable a complaint to be made by someone else. This must be printed out, signed and returned to us.

Where the patient is incapable of providing 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.

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

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 this, 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.

If you are Dissatisfied with the Outcome

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome there are organisations who can support you further.

  • The Advocacy Project  is the the Independent Health and Care Advocacy Services for Hackney
  • Healthwatch Hackney is Hackney’s health and care watchdog. You can read Hackney’s Health and Social Care Complaints Charter here (PDF). 

Complaints to NHS England

If you are not satisfied with the resolution to your complaint you have the right to raise the commissioner of the service –  NHS England.

A complaint or concern can be received by mail, electronically or by telephone via these details;

If you are still not satisfied the next step would be to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review how the complaint has been handled. 

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

The PHSO’s website  can be found at The organisation makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments and other public organisations. They do this fairly and without taking sides. Their service is free.

They can be contacted by post at: 

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Millbank Tower

Tel:  0345 0154033

If you are not happy with the Ombudsman’s decision, then you can appeal directly to the PHSO, and details of this process can be found on their website;

Once the Ombudsman or one of their senior staff has considered the complaint and sent a response, their decision is final. Unless you raise any new issues that they consider significant to the complaint, they will not send further replies (but will still acknowledge further correspondence).