This Fact sheet is about complaints about General Practitioners (GPs). It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain’ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
There is a separate fact sheet which covers other independent primary care providers like community dentists, opticians, or pharmacists. You should note that the Ombudsman can only consider complaints about care provided under the NHS; he cannot look at treatment provided on a private basis.
Practice staff, such as nurses or receptionists, are employed by GPs, who are responsible for their actions. Any complaint about practice staff should be directed to the GP practice in the first instance.
The Ombudsman can:
The Ombudsman cannot:
When considering complaints about clinical care, the Ombudsman will assess whether the standard of care was appropriate (information available on the ‘Clinical Standards’ page, under the ‘For Service Provider’ tab) in the circumstances at the time, rather than of a “gold standard”. More information can be found on the ‘Clinical Standards’ page, under the ‘For Service Providers’ tab.
There are a number of circumstances where GPs are entitled to remove patients from their list for example, when a patient moves away from the Practice’s area, or when the professional relationship between doctor and patient has broken down. You should normally be given a written warning before being removed from the list and given reasons for why you are being removed. You should not normally be removed from a Practice list simply because you have made a complaint.
Complaints about NHS out-of-hours services should normally be directed to the relevant Health Board in the first instance (see below for contact details).
Your local Community Health Council (CHC) can provide free help and support with making your complaint. Contact details for your local CHC can be obtained from the website of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales or via their helpline on 0845 6447814.
Your local Health Board may also be able to help you. Contact details for the Health Board for your area can be found at www.wales.nhs.uk/ourservices/directory