NHS complaints

Changes to complaints about primary care services

From 1 July 2023 the way patients can make a complaint about primary care services – including GP practices, dentists, opticians or pharmacy services – is changing.

Up to now patients with complaints about these primary care services have gone to NHS England, but from July onwards these will go to Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB as the local commissioner of these services.

Patients have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of NHS care, treatment or service, and this is written into the NHS Constitution on GOV.UK. There are two ways patients can make a complaint:

  • complain to the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where you received the NHS service, for example a community pharmacy or GP practice;
  • complain to Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) in our role as commissioner of local NHS services, which means we hold the contract for these services.

Visit the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board’s website to get full contact details of who patients need to contact to make a complaint and the ways in which to do this.

Pharmacy owners must make information available to the public as to their arrangements for dealing with complaints; and how further information about those arrangements may be obtained.

Community Pharmacy England has therefore updated the ‘flyer’ template, with a section for ICB details and ombudsmen details, which pharmacy owners may find helpful when updating their own poster.