Complaints Procedure


Ball Tree Surgery aims to give a friendly and professional service to all our patients.

We value your comments, compliment and complaints. We have an open door, no blame learning culture policy with the teams here and a being open policy for our interactions with patients.

We take on board all the feedback that we receive on paper or digitally through our website. We have an ongoing detailed survey available throughout the year as well as a chance to tell your patient story, or take part in the National Friends and Family Survey or you can use our online form for your ideas

Sometimes however we understand that things may not run as smoothly as we would wish. If you have any concerns about any aspect of our service, please let us know straight away as we need to know where we are able to make improvements.  

Please note that it does not help us to help you if we experience confrontational behaviour and rudeness. Please treat our teams with respect. Also, please be aware that there are limitations to the resources that we have here and manage your expectations about what may be possible for a small private GP practice vs a large NHS organisation.

In the first instance it is often most useful to speak with one our reception team who can support you and are able to resolve most questions or problems quickly and simply. You can also write to your Usual GP or to our practice manager Gerard Cronin.

You can hand a note to reception or our address is on our contacts page


Complaints Process

We aim to provide high quality, efficient healthcare services. Unfortunately from time to time problems do occur. Our intention is to resolve problems at the earliest opportunity and to learn from our mistakes. We always try to learn from complaints to prevent similar situations from happening in future. We always take time to investigate and we share our learnings in team meetings. We don’t want you to be unhappy as that makes us unhappy. We want to put things right if things have gone wrong. We are sorry if you are reading this as you would like to make a complaint.

If you have a complaint, dissatisfaction or concern about the service you have received from the doctors or any of the staff working in this practice, please let us know.

We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of a NHS system for dealing with complaints. The first stage of the NHS complaints procedure is ‘Local Resolution’. Your complaint should be made in the first instance to the practice as we can work with you to help resolve your concerns.

How to complain

Talk to us: please ask to talk with one of the management team.
Most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise with the person concerned. We aim to help either on the day or within a day or two wherever we can.
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 days because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. If it is not possible to do that, please let us have details of your complaint within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem.

Write to us:  Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager or any of the doctors. Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment or phone call with the Practice Manager to discuss your concerns.
To help us understand what we can do to support a resolution it will be a great help if you can provide us with clear and specific issues.

How we aim to respond

Please note: if we have key team members away, these timelines may take a little longer.  We apologise when this is the case.

Acknowledgement of oral complaints within 3-5 working days if we have not been able to resolve within a day or so

Acknowledgement of written complaints within 3-5 working days

Where appropriate, we will undertake an investigation which will:

  • find out what happened and what went wrong
  • make it possible for you to discuss the problem those concerned (if you would like this)
  • make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
  • identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again

On occasion it may be necessary to conduct more complex investigations or talk with staff members who may be away. We will let you know when this is the case.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining of behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed, unless they are incapable (because of illness) of providing this.

Independent Assistance

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 an opportunity to improve our practice.


Healthwatch is the name of the consumer champion for health and social care. At a local level, Healthwatch works to help people get the best out of their health and social care services, providing them with advice and information on local services.

In West Sussex they also deliver the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS).

‘Advocacy is taking action to support people to say what they want, secure their rights, pursue their interests and obtain services they need. Advocacy providers and Advocates work in partnership with the people they support and take their side, promoting social inclusion, equality and social justice’ (The Advocacy Charter)

You can contact Healthwatch West Sussex IHCAS by phoning 0300 012 0122 or via their website

Healthwatch also has a range of very useful self-help guides and information.

NHS England

NHS Frimley complaints team supports NHS in Sussex via the contact details below:

South East Complaints Hub
NHS Frimley ICB
Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
GU11 1AY

Complaints phone number: 0300 561 0290
Complaints email address:


The Health Service Ombudsman

If you remain unhappy after local resolution, then you can complain to the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is completely independent of the NHS and Government. You can contact the Ombudsman at:
Millbank Tower
Telephone 0345 015 4033 - Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm | Friday 8.30am to 12pm or contact the Ombudsman via their website

Where can I get further advice and help?