Communication, Concerns & Complaints- May 2013

Listed below is the high level evidence on Communication, Concerns and Complaints produced by NICE, SIGN and NHS based organisations. Also included are the European Society guidelines where available. This list is produced and maintained by HEFT Library Services to support VITAL for Doctors core skills programme developed in the Trust.


HEFT Local Policies

Policy and Procedure for Handling the Media

Corporate Affairs Directorate, HEFT. January 2012. Next review date: January 2015

Policy and procedure for Social Media and online participation

Corporate Affairs Directorate, HEFT. July 2012. Next review date: July 2013

Customer Relations & Complaints Policy and Procedure v9

Senior Patient Services Manager, November 2012. Next review date: August 2014

Supporting Staff involved in Traumatic Events Policy

Senior Investigations Manager, Safety and Governance, October 2011. Next review date: September 2013.

GP Complaints Procedure v2.0

Corporate Affairs Directorate, Communications Department and GP Communication Team, HEFT. October 2005. Next review date: October 2007

Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure

HR Business Partner, June 2011. Next review date: June 2013


NICE Guidelines and Pathways



Map of Medicine



National Guidelines & Non-UK Guidelines (includes Professional Bodies/Associations)

The hospital complaints system : a case for urgent treatment?

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, April 2013

Acting on Concerns

Royal College of Surgeons, 28 August 2012

Handling concerns about a practitioner’s conduct and behaviour: an NCAS good practice guide

National Clinical Assessment Service, June 2012

Can I help you? Guidance for handling and learning from feedback, comments, concerns or complaints about NHS health care services

The Scottish Government, March 2012

Supporting Doctors to Provide Safer Healthcare: Responding to concerns about a doctor’s practice v.1

Revalidation Support Team, March 2012

Listening and Learning: the Ombudsman’s review of complaint handling by the NHS in England 2011-2012

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, 2012

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Its role is to consider complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England, have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service.

Handling concerns about the practitioners’ health: a guide for managers

National Clinical Assessment Service, January 2011

Tackling concerns locally: Report of the Working Group

Department of Health, 2009

Tackling concerns locally: Report of the Clinical Governance Group

Department of Health, 2009

National Audit Office, October 2008

Complaints about the NHS

Complaints section on NHS Choices provides a portal for patients to make a complaint about the NHS, for example a hospital or GP practice.

Making experiences count: the proposed new arrangements for handling health and social care complaints - response to consultation

Department of Health, 2008

Handling concerns about the performance of healthcare professionals: principles of good practice

Department of Health and National Patient Safety Agency, 2006

HSC 2003/012 - Maintaining high professional standards in the modern NHS: a framework for the initial handling of concerns about doctors and dentists in the NHS

Department of Health, 2003

Updated sections of this Health Service Circular were published in 2005 and the links are included.


NHS Evidence

"It takes a lot of courage."- children and young people's experiences of complaints procedures in services for mental health and sexual health including those provided by GPs

A Cernis Report commissioned by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, July 2012

Complaining about a health service

Stroke Association, September 2012


Further Information:

The following sources have been searched for evidence published in the previous 12 months: HEFT Policies, Department of Health, NHS Evidence, NICE, SIGN, National Clinical Assessment Service and Cochrane Library. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

For more information on how to make the most use of the HEFT Library Services, visit Visit NHS Evidence to access your guidelines, Cochrane systematic reviews, journals and databases.