4 Handling comments and complaints

All healthcare organisations will have a procedure in place to collect and monitor patients’ complaints. Formal complaints will provide valuable feedback and evidence to your managers and employers regarding any problems with the quality and delivery of care and give them important information to help improve services. There may be times when it is helpful to remind a frustrated patient or relative about their right to make a complaint, as this means that the problem is formally noted. If a patient complains about their care or support to you, it is important that it is followed up quickly and in a positive way. As Skills for Care (2015d) advises, patients should be told that their concern or complaint will be taken seriously and that they will be kept involved in the process and informed as much as they would like to be. In a person-centred way, reassure them that they will receive help and support and explain that they can also have an advocate to work on their behalf if they wish in taking action on their behalf.

5 Dealing with incidents, errors and near misses