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Independents' Day

Does 'sorry' sort out complaints?

I refer to your news report headlined 'Apologising for errors will cut patients' complaints' (March 10), I agree with the National Patient Safety Agency and the NHS Confederation that an apology can sometimes satisfy a complainant.

An apology is not an admission of guilt or acceptance of blame. In the majority of the cases my office investigates, patients want to know what happened and be reassured that it will not happen to anyone else. An apology can go a long way to reassuring them that their concerns have been heard.

I would be interested to hear how other readers have responded to this suggestion.

Ann Abraham

Health Service Ombudsman

London SW1

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