Patient Complaints Procedure

At Hadlow Osteopathic Clinic we are determined to offer our patients a top quality professional service. If for some reason you have a complaint or a concern about the service you have received please let us know. We take complaints very seriously and continually strive to improve the quality and standards of the service that we provide. Patient feedback is important to us and helps us develop and improve. We offer a four step procedure, please click the buttons below for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is referral from a GP necessary?

Most patients ‘self refer’ to an osteopath for treatment. Although a GP referral is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and osteopath fully informed so that their medical records are up to date and complete. This enables all parties to offer the best possible care for the patient. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP. If you feel you should consult your Doctor you should do so. If you have private health Insurance and want to claim for treatment costs then you may need a referral from your GP. Please check your level of cover with your Health Insurance Company before embarking upon a course of treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

My aim is always to reduce pain levels and restore normal function as soon as possible, however recovery time and success of treatment is dependent upon a number factors such as age, nature of complaint, previous history and general health. In most cases I like to feel that a significant improvement has been realised in about 3 to 4 visits but older patients with more complex medical histories may take longer.

What is the difference between an Osteopath, a Physiotherapist and a Chiropractor?

Firstly it must be said, that it depends on the bias of the individual practitioner as there is as much disparity within each profession as there is between professions. Stereotypically, Osteopaths are very ‘hands on’ and work very holistically and globally using and considering all parts of the body during treatment. Many techniques are used to release soft tissue restrictions and gentle mobilisations are used improve the mobility of joints around the body. Chiropractic came from the same beginnings as osteopathy but over the years became more focused on the spine. Chiropractors predominantly look to ‘adjust’ so called ‘’subluxations’ in the spine with the aim of having a more global effect. Physiotherapists have more of a bias towards the prescribing of exercises and strengthening of key muscle groups. Physiotherapists also tend to use machines in their treatment approach such as ultrasound and interferential therapy.

Can osteopaths refer patients for x-rays and scans?

Yes. If patients are willing to pay privately or have private medical Insurance, osteopaths have the authority to refer. If patients are unable to pay privately and further investigations are indicated then with the patient’s consent, a letter will be sent to the GP outlining their findings and concerns with a view to onward referral.

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

Back pain or leg pain, although debilitating, is rarely medically serious. When seeing a patient for the first time I always screen for signs which may indicate a more concerning reason for the pain. I consider factors such as,
  • Is there significant unexplained weight loss (e.g. more than a stone per month)
  • Is there a loss of appetite
  • Is the pain worse at night and not relieved by changes in position and posture
  • The person feels unwell and lacks energy
  • Does the onset of the pain involve a trauma such as a bad fall
  • Is there a history of cancer, long term steroid use, osteoporosis etc.
  • Progressive numbness and weakness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of normal bladder or bowel control