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NHS Complaints Summit news

News and presentations from today's conference ffocusing on supporting staff to deliver good complaint handling and implementing and monitoring adherence to the PHSO National NHS Complaint Standards.

Mr Ben Wesson

Chaired by: Mr Ben Wesson

Head of Customer Enquiries and Complaints, People and Organisational Effectiveness Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Member PHSO working group on the Complaints Standard Framework


The NHS Wide Complaint StandardMs Jo Power
Ms Jo Power Liaison Officer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Cameron Kennedy Liaison Manager, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
• PHSO update
• supporting and improving front line complaint handling
• the new NHS Complaint Standards, model procedure and guidance
• what the Standards mean for your organisation
• implementing the standards in your service Cameron Kennedy
• Broken Trust: making patient safety more than just a promise

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The role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is to investigate unresolved complaints about the NHS in England. They are the second and final process of the NHS complaints process.  In 2022-23 they recommended 361 apologies, 298 service improvement, 98 other actions, and financial remedy recommendations totalled £401,847.  Jo outlined the complaint journey; once the enquiry is received initial checks are made including wither it's an organisation and matter the PHSO can investigate, and whether the concerned organisation complaints process has been exhausted. It then moves on to primary investigation stage as long as the complaint is made within 12 months and there isn't an alternative legal remedy.  The investigation involves looking at if the organisation may have made a mistake and if the complete can be resolved through mediation or 'dispute resolution'. As the evidence is gathered they look at the relevant guidelines and policies in place at the time and if there were shortfalls.  They also take into account what actions might have already been put in place. 

Cameron went on to discuss the Complaints Standards, which were produced following the Complaints Count report which identified 3 core issues: No consistency in how complaints are handled; No core training and support; Complaints not valued as a source of intelligence to improve services.  The standards involved the complainant journey and their expectations. 

A lived experience of the complaints process from a patient/carer perspective Carolyn Cleveland
Carolyn Cleveland Director, C&C Empathy Training Ltd
• understanding the complexity of the emotional impact within complaints
• recognising fairness, justice and learning from a lived experience
• being familiar with the power of listening with empathy for compassion and learning

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Thank you to today's sponsor giving a showcase presentation:

Tone of Voice – Why Getting This Right is Crucial To Effective Complaint Handling


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