Making a Complaint

Information for Contractors

NHS GM Pharmacy Concerns, Concerns and Queries signpost

To ensure you are approaching the correct organisation and department with relation to you queries and concerns, please see the signposting list.


Prescription Direction

Direction of prescriptions is when a medical practice influences where a patient takes or sends their prescription to be dispensed. This term can also be used to describe situations where pharmacy owners and pharmacists encourage medical practitioners to recommend their pharmacy, by way of offering a gift or reward.

NHS GM will protect patient’s rights and take action against contractors where evidence of prescription direction or switching patient nominations without consent is found.

Reporting Prescription Direction Issues

If you suspect that prescription direction is happening in your area, please follow the procedure outlined below:

If a patient has already complained directly to a pharmacy about their prescription direction and they are not satisfied with the pharmacy’s response to that complaint, they should contact the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO makes final decisions on all complaints about NHS services. NHS England cannot investigate complaints that have already been made directly to the pharmacy.

To take a complaint to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, visit or call 0345 015 4033.

Useful resources

To inform patients about their freedom of choice, posters have been published by the NHS.

  1. Poster on freedom of choice 

  2. Poster on freedom of choice (high res version)

Please display these posters prominently close to where patients receive prescriptions. Distance-selling and internet pharmacies should display this information prominently on their websites.

Patients who have stopped visiting a pharmacy (template letter) You can use this letter to write to the patients and ask why

Complaint or incident relating to a Contractor or NHS Professional

If you have an issue with a Pharmacy contractor or other NHS professional in GM that needs resolution;

  1. We advise you to contact the contractor/professional in the first instance ensuring you have recorded the dates and times of attempted communications with phone and email records. (For e.g Patient nomination issues, interface issues)
  2. If the complaint is not resolved and you wish to report the incident or issue, please complete the attached proforma and send to
  3. Please email if you need any advice or support.


Information for Patients and the Public

Making a complaint about Primary Care services

Patients have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of NHS care, treatment or service.

There are two ways patients can make a complaint:

  • Complain to the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where they received the NHS service, for example a GP surgery or dental surgery.
  • Complain to the commissioner of the service: this is the organisation that paid for the service or care they received. Contact information can be found on the GM ICP website under the ‘Local area feedback and complaints’ section

Find out more about how to feedback or make a complaint about an NHS service 

If a patient wishes to make a complaint, please refer them to this list which provided contact details for the complaint departments for each locality across Greater Manchester

Read more about the NHS complaints procedure

Notifying CPGM

When making a complaint, please notify us so that we have visibility of these issues. If you wish to escalate the case further or need advice we are also here to help. Please contact CPGM by emailing

General Patient Queries

NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre deal with general enquiries from patients, such as ‘how do I get a GP or Dentist appointment’.

For such general enquiries, patients can call 0300 311 22 33.