According to the Department of Health (DH), “One of the key features of high performing organisations is the way that they respond to customers who are unhappy about the service that they have received.”
From April 2009 of a common approach to handling complaints in the NHS and adult social care will be introduced and this provides an opportunity for all organisations to review their local systems so they can both respond flexibly to complaints, concerns and complements and feed the resulting lessons into their work on learning from patients’ feedback to improve services.
The guide Listening, Improving, Responding provides a practical resource that complaints managers and their teams can use to help design excellent customer care systems locally and to support clinical and administrative staff in implementing change.
The new approach focuses on the complainant and enables organisations to tailor a flexible response that seeks to resolve the complainant’s specific concerns. It is based on the principles of good complaints handling, which have been published by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and endorsed by the Local Government Ombudsman:
1. Getting it right
2. Being customer focused
3. Being open and accountable
4. Acting fairly and proportionately
5. Putting things right
6. Seeking continuous improvement
Download the guide Listening, Improving, Responding here.