Changes to prescribing Over The Counter medicines

In-line with NHS England recommendations, NHS Dorset has asked GP teams to stop prescribing medicine and treatment for 35 minor conditions listed on this page. This allows GPs to focus on caring for people who have more complex needs. NHS Dorset wants people to have the confidence to look after themselves where they can. This

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We take complaints very seriously and welcome constructive feedback. We have a dedicated staff member investigating all patient complaints.

Formal investigations can take time and involve speaking to multiple staff members, listening to phone call recordings and reviewing consultation notes. For this reason we encourage patients to consider whether they can speak informally to a member of staff at the point your issue(s) occurs to help find a quick solution. Our Lead receptionists are extremely knowledgeable of the practice and will be able to help resolve any minor issues or miscommunications very promptly and will feedback wider concerns to the management team to review.

However if you feel your issue cannot be resolved informally and requires wider investigation then please either complete a formal complaints form (see below) or write a letter/email detailing your complaint and send to [email protected], entitled FAO Patient Liaison Officer. The Patient Liaison Officer is our designated formal complaints officer who will investigate your complaint and write back to you.

Our patient liaison officer will acknowledge your complaint and investigate your concerns.

We aim to acknowledge your complaint in 3 working days. We hope to investigative and respond to your complaint within 30 days. However this may take up to 8 weeks. We do however under NHS guidelines have up to 12 months to respond.

Making a complaint on behalf of someone else

Please note that we adhere fully to the rules of medical confidentiality. Therefore if you are complaining on behalf of someone else you must have their written permission to do so. Our complaints form (see above) contains a section which provides consent where necessary.

How we investigate a formal complaint

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days over the phone or in writing. We will undertake our investigation based on the available information. We endeavour to respond to your concerns as quickly as possible however some investigations may take longer due to annual leave and where multiple staff are involved.

When we look into your complaint, we will aim to:

  • find out what happened and what went wrong
  • make it possible for you to discuss the problem in person, 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 does not happen again and alter our procedures as necessary

We will then write to you to offer you an explanation. Should you continue to have concerns following receiving your letter, you can raise these in writing so that we can investigate further.  It may also be possible to discuss these concerns over the telephone. 

Interpreting Service

We can arrange for a meeting with the Surgery Team Manager and an Interpreter for any patient whose first language is not English and needs help with their complaint.

Download or view our Patient Information Leaflet

NHS Dorset – Integrated Care Board

If you feel you do not want to contact the surgery directly, then you can contact the Integrated Care Board (ICB) at NHS Dorset on:

Vespasian House,
Barrack Road,

Telephone: 01305 368900

Who can complain

  • Complainants may be current or former patients, or their nominated or elected representatives (who have been given consent to act on the patients behalf).
  • Patients over the age of 16 whose mental capacity is unimpaired should normally complain themselves or authorise someone to bring a complaint on their behalf.
  • Children under the age of 16 can also make their own complaint, if they’re able to do so.

If a patient lacks capacity to make decisions, their representative must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest in the patient’s welfare and be an appropriate person to act on their behalf. This could be a partner, relative or someone appointed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with lasting power of attorney.

Appropriate person

In certain circumstances, we need to check that a representative is the appropriate person to make a complaint.

  • For example, if the complaint involves a child, we must satisfy ourselves that there are reasonable grounds for the representative to complain, rather than the child concerned.
  • If the patient is a child or a patient who lacks capacity, we must also be satisfied that the representative is acting in the patient’s best interests.

If we are not satisfied that the representative is an appropriate person we will not consider the complaint, and will give the representative the reasons for our decision in writing.

Complain to the Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision, you remain dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and free to use. It can help resolve your complaint, and tell the NHS how to put things right if it has got them wrong.

The Ombudsman only has legal powers to investigate certain complaints. You must have received a final response from the Practice before the Ombudsman can look at your complaint and it will generally not look into your complaint if it happened more than 12 months ago, unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Tower 30
London SW1P 4QP

Phone: 0345 015 4033

E: email the Ombudsman 

Other Contacts

The Advocacy People

If you would like independent support with your complaint then The Advocacy People are able to help. For more information please visit their website – Complaints about the NHS | The Advocacy People


The independent consumer champion was created to gather and represent the views of the public. They cannot deal with individual complaints but they can use your experiences to help make services better in the future.
Email: [email protected]
website: Dorset Health Watch
Telephone: 0300 111 0102
Post: FREEPOST RT JR-RHUJ-XBLH, Healthwatch Dorset, 896 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6BR
In person: at any Citizens Advice Bureau in Dorset, Poole or Bournemouth.


All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s medical records, we will inform the patient or person acting on his/her behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the Practice or an employee of the Practice.

We keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records will be kept separate from patients’ medical records.

Statistics and reporting

The Practice must submit to the local primary care organisation periodically/at agreed intervals details of the number of complaints received and actioned.

Give feedback or make a complaint

You can complain to a member of staff at the NHS service you went to, such as a GP surgery or hospital, or you can complain to the organisation in charge.