Make a complaint

Most issues can be sorted out at the time they happen and with the person involved. This may be what you try first.

This is how to start the complaint process.

  1. You raise a concern with the surgery, and we have 2 working days to try to resolve it for you.
  2. If we cannot resolve it, you can make a formal complaint.

Who can raise a concern

If you're a registered patient you can raise a concern about your own care.

You can also raise a concern on behalf of someone else - you'll need their written consent to make a formal complaint.

When to raise your concern

It’s best to raise your concern within a few days of the incident. This makes it easier to confirm what happened.

If that’s not possible, you should make the complaint within 12 months of the incident, or of you discovering the problem.

What to do first

The first thing to do is contact the Senior at the surgery. They will try to resolve it, and if they cannot they will pass it on to the Primary Care Manager.

If we cannot resolve the issue within 2 working days, you can make a formal complaint.

Get help before you make a complaint

Before you make your complaint, you can contact DIAL. DIAL is an organisation in Barnsley which offers an independent support and advocacy for patients.

They can provide someone to go to meetings, either with you or on your behalf.

You can contact DIAL by:

You can also get free, confidential advice from your local Healthwatch team.

How to make a formal complaint

You can either:

If you write your own letter or email, you need to include:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • the GP practice you’re registered with, or the service you want to make a complaint about
  • details of the incident, including dates, times and names of people involved, if you know them
  • your consent for Barnsley Healthcare Federation to release your information - this allows us to contact any other organisations involved

Post the form or letter to:

Barnsley Healthcare Federation
Oaks Park Primary Care Centre
Thornton Road
S70 3NE

What happens next

We'll write and let you know we’ve received your complaint. This will happen within 2 working days.

After that, within 20 working days we aim to:

  • write to tell you the outcome
  • invite you to meet with the people involved, if you want

If it's likely to take longer than 20 working days we’ll let you know, and we'll update you as things change.

What we look at

We look at:

  • what happened and why
  • how we can help you talk to the people involved, if you want
  • what we can learn so it does not happen again

If more than one organisation is involved

Other organisations might be involved, for example social services. If so, we’ll talk to them and you’ll receive one coordinated reply. We may need your consent to do this.

If your complaint gets sent to the wrong organisation to begin with, we may ask for your consent to forward it to the right place.


We'll write to tell you the outcome of your complaint.

We'll also explain how to escalate the issue if you’re not happy with the outcome.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome

If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can contact the Health Service Ombudsman. They may be able to look further into your complaint.

Get advice if you’re unhappy with the outcome

Contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to get free, confidential advice. You can find your nearest PALS office on the NHS website.

Complain on behalf of someone else

To complain for someone else, you need their written consent. They need to confirm that they:

  • are unhappy with their treatment
  • allow the practice to deal with someone else about the issue

We cannot discuss the issue with you until the patient gives their written consent.

We may also still need to talk directly with the patient.

How to complain on behalf of someone else

Ask at the practice reception for the complaints form. The patient needs to sign this to give their consent.

If the patient cannot give consent

If the patient cannot give consent because of illness or an accident, it might still be possible to deal with the complaint for them. Please write a letter which gives precise details of why they cannot give consent.


This process is in place because we keep to strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality.