How to complain

When making a complaint, you can choose to complain to either of the following:

  • St Leonard's Practice direct
  • NHS England (This is the organisation that pays for the service or care you received)
You must decide at the outset which organisation you are going to contact.

Contact the Practice Manager


Complaints should be put in writing as soon as possible after the event and ideally within a few days, as this helps us to establish what happened more easily. In any event, this should be within 12 months of the incident, or within 12 months of you discovering that you have a problem.

We will acknowledge receipt within three working days.


NHS England

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

By email to:
If you are making a complaint please state: 'For the attention of the complaints team' in the subject line.

By telephone: 0300 311 22 33

Who can complain?

A complaint can be made by a patient or person affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decisions of a NHS organisation or primary care practitioner. A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent.

Independent Review

If you are unhappy with the final response to your complaint, you can ask the Healthcare Commission for an independent review of your case. The Healthcare Commission is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare. You can contact the Commission at:

Healthcare Commission
Complaints Investigation Team
Manchester, M1 9XZ

Tel: 0845 601 3012

Considering making a complaint but need help?

Many issues can be resolved quickly by speaking directly to the staff at the place where you received care or accessed a service.

Some people find it helpful to talk to someone who understands the complaints process first and get some guidance and support.

You'll find a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in most hospitals. You can speak with a PALS member, who'll try to help you resolve issues informally with the hospital before you need to make a complaint. PALS can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.

If you're making, or thinking about making, a complaint, someone from the independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can help you. An advocate will also be able to attend meetings with you and review any information you're given during the complaints process. You can seek advice from an NHS complaints advocate at any stage of the process. If you decide you need some support, it's never too late to ask for help.

PALS and Complaints - the Patient Advice and Complaints Team 0300 123 1672, text for a callback 07789 741099,

Devon NHS Complaints Advocacy Tel: 0845 231 1900 Email:

Healthwatch England or tel: 0300 068 3000

St Leonard's Practice

The Surgery
Athelstan Road
Exeter EX1 1SB

Surgery opening hours
Monday to Friday 08:15 - 18:00
Closed Wed 13:00 - 14:00

Appointment Line: 01392 201 791
General Enquiries: 01392 201 790

Surgery telephone hours
Monday to Friday 08:30 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 18:00

The St Leonard's Practice provides GP and family doctor services to patients in Exeter, Wonford, Heavitree, St Leonard's, Whipton, Stoke Hill and Pennsylvania.