Procedure for Complaints


If you have a complaint 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 wide system for dealing with complaints and our system meets the 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 on the day.

This is because the sooner we know about a problem; the easier it will be for us to establish what happened. In any event, please let us have details of your complaint:

  • Within 6 months of the incident that caused the problem; or
  • Within 6 months of discovering that you have a problem, providing this is within 12 months of the incident.

Claire Hunter – Operational Assistant is the initial point of contact for South Reading & Shinfield Group Medical Practice for complaints.

What we will do:

We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days and establish your preferred method of contact for future correspondence. During this first point of contact we will agree an appropriate timescale to investigate your complaint depending on the severity or complexity of the situation. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation or a meeting with the people involved, should you wish.

When we look into your complaint, we shall:

  • 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 make sure the problem doesn't happen again.

Complaining on behalf of someone else:

Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have his or her permission to do so. A note signed by the person concerned will be needed to authorize you to complain on their behalf.

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)

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. If for any reason you feel that the practice complaints procedure has not resolved your problem, then another step to take is to contact the local PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).

For PALS/ Enquiries

What is PALS and how can it help you?

PALS is a free, informal and confidential patient advice service providing support and guidance across our services. It also assists carers and relatives and recognises their essential role. We improve services by listening to your concerns, suggestions and experiences and ensure that people who design and manage services are aware of the issues you raise. PALS also provides an early warning system for NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies by identifying gaps in services and reporting.

What can PALS do to help?

As a service user, relative or carer PALS can help you in the following ways:

  • Offer confidential advice and support to patients, families and carers
  • Provide information on the NHS and health related matters
  • Listen to concerns and queries and help solve problems as promptly as possible  
  • Liaise with other organisations and professionals on your behalf
  • Refer you to other services outside the Trust
  • Assist with formal complaints about Trust services or any other matter

PALS works in your best interests, and with your permission, will work directly with all services to resolve all problems.

If you’d like to give feedback or raise your concerns informally please call PALS on:

Tel: 0118 9822829

Visit the office at:

Building 1
Room 1.1.13 , Prospect Park Hospital
Honey End Lane, Reading, RG30 4EJ

Another option is to contact the NHS England national call centre:

What you need to provide

Provide as much information as possible to allow NHS England to investigate your complaint. Include some or all of the following:

  • your name and a valid email or home address for reply;
  • a clear description of your complaint;
  • any relevant correspondence

Contact details

Complaining to NHS England:

By post to: NHS England
PO Box 16738
B97 9PT

By email to:

Please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.

By telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding English Bank Holidays)
NHS England will take a note of your complaint and arrange for it to be passed to a case officer

Second stage of the complaints process

If you are not content with our reply, the next step is to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint and how it has been handled.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Millbank Tower

Telephone: 0345 015 4033

The PHSO undertakes independent investigations into complaints alleging that government departments and other public bodies in the UK, including NHS England, have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service


South Reading Surgery

257 Whitley Wood Road

Telephone: 0118 931 3515
Fax:            0118 975 7065

**please note we sometimes record our calls for training and quality purposes**

Shinfield Medical Practice

School Green

Telephone:  0118 402 9177
Fax:             0118 988 5199

**please note we sometimes record our calls for training and quality purposes**

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