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Complaints Protocol: How to respond to a complaint.
Complaints Protocol: How to respond to a complaint.

How to handle complaints. How to respond to complaints.

Locum PA Team avatar
Written by Locum PA Team
Updated over a week ago

Working for Locum PA you will be required to follow the complaints protocol.

Failure to do so will result in the complaint being passed onto the FPA/GMC.

How to deal with complaints

Complaints can be difficult psychologically for clinicians to deal with. It can often feel like you have done your best and are under attack. It's important that you take a step back, review the notes and reflect before offering any form of response.

Responding when under heightened emotions almost always causes more damage and can turn a small issue into a very damaging one.

Please read all the information below to structure a response.

How to respond to complaints

  1. Review the notes of your consult and review the notes related to the complaints i.e. Historical notes and what has happened since your consultation.

  2. Give a factual description of events & clarify the timeline.

  3. Record in the complaint how long the consultation was.

  4. Address each point made in the complaint.

  5. Include a screen shot of the clinical notes.(hiding patient identifiable data)

  6. Document in the complaint response who was the supervising clinician? Who the clinician was making the complaint if non patient directed.

  7. Reflect

  8. Were there any mistakes or things that could have been done differently by yourself?


This must be sent to first for review

"Common pitfalls

  • Being overly defensive.

  • Not addressing all the issues raised by the complainant.

  • Taking too long to respond and not keeping the complainant updated about the reasons for this and when they can expect a response." MDDUS

What will LocumPA Ask for

  1. You will need to write a formal response. Ideally this should be in word with the screen shot of the consultation. Even if minor this is good practice.

  2. Once reviewed by us, will then pass this information back to the client and may or may not discuss further.

  3. If there is a breach of any GMC conduct the complaint may be passed onto them.

  4. Your educational supervisor i.e. Who you do your appraisal with should be informed of this complaint. We may need to see evidence of this involvement.

MDDUS Advice

"Clinicians have professional obligations in relation to complaint handling. These include responding promptly, fully and honestly to complaints and providing an apology when appropriate. Clinicians must not allow a patient's complaint to adversely affect the care or treatment they provide or arrange."

Further Information

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