Blog Archive

How Do I Make A Complaint?


At Firdale Medical Centre we always strive to provide the best possible service for our patients with resources available to us. If you wish to raise a concern or a complaint please in the first instance, speak to Adrienne Jones our Lead Receptionist on 01606 544300 or personally. It may be possible to find the solution or if necessary to arrange meeting to discuss your complaint in detail. If you are unhappy with the solution your complaint will need to be made in writing to Marek Matuszczak, Patient Services Manager, Firdale Medical Centre, Firdale Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4AZ. We will look into your complaint and send you a written acknowledgment within 3 working days. Once the complaint has been fully investigated we will write to you again with an explanation or suggest a meeting with either Practice Service Manager or Senior Partner. This process should not take longer than 25 working days.

If you are sill unhappy with the outcome you may wish to contact NHS England Contact Centre on 0300 3112233 (Monday to Friday 8am—6pm) or write to them at NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT or by email

If you need help to make your complaint you can also contact the Independent Advocacy Service  (ICAS) by phone on 08080 8023000 or via their website

Finally if you are still dissatisfied you may consider taking your complaint to the Ombudsman. You can do this after all attempts for a local resolution have been exhausted. You should do this within 12 months of the date of the letter telling you about the outcome of your complaint. You have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review your case. The Ombudsman promotes improvements in healthcare by assessing the performance of NHS organisations.

The Ombudsman can be contacted by telephone on 0345 015 4033 email or by writing to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P4QP

Comments and Suggestions

We welcome constructive comments and suggestions about our services and have a feedback and suggestion box in the waiting room for this purpose.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) welcome comments about the operation of NHS services and can be contacted on 03000 61 61 61 or by email at There is also online form can be found at

How Do I Get A Sick Note?

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

We encourage all our patient to firstly submit requests for Fit Notes through our Patchs Online Consulting platform PATCHS. It is easy and allows you to leave a trace of your request on your medical record. We will review your request and depending on circumstances our GP will either issue your with the fit not or our reception team will contact you to advise if you need an appointment first.

When submitting your request please choose Admin Request tile.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’

The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).

When Will I Have My Cervical Screening (Smear) Test?

All women registered with a GP will be sent a letter inviting them to their screening at:

  • age 25 to 49– then again every three years
  • age 50 to 64– then again every five years
  • over 65– only women who haven’t been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests

Am I Entitled To a Flu Jab On The NHS?

Please visit this link to find out more about who is entitled to Flu Jab on The NHS

Flu vaccine – NHS (

Can I Choose A Male Or Female GP?

Yes, if you would prefer see a GP of the same sex, please mention this to the receptionist when booking an appointment. Please be aware that this choice will reduce the number of appointments available to you.

Can I Have A Chaperone At My Appointment?

Yes, please ask at reception when booking if you require a chaperone to be present at your appointment.

Sometimes, during a consultation with the GP an intimate examination may be necessary. In these cases, as it can make patients feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, you will be asked if you would like a chaperone.

What Do I Do If I Am Pregnant?

There’s no need to book in to see a GP, you can book in to see the midwife. Our receptionist will be able to assist you with this.