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Responding to patient complaints (1 CPD hour)

Dr Harry Yoxall explains how to respond to patient complaints quickly and prevent them escalating.

Learning objectives

This module offers advice on managing patient complaints:

  • Managing an expression of concern from a patient
  • Dealing with a patient complaint about a repeat prescribing error
  • Responding quickly to a letter of complaint
  • Organising a formal meeting with a patient to resolve a complaint
  • Involving a mediator

After reading this article you will be asked to record your learning points and some action points to earn a suggested 1 CPD credit. Below are some suggested questions to reflect on as you work through the module:

  1. Have you encourage your practice team to report any patient feedback?
  2. Can you also share the positive letters and comments received from patients?
  3. Do you try to respond to serious complaints within 48 hours?
  4. Do you know how to organise and manage a formal meeting with a patient?

This module was first published on 2nd March 2011 and was up to date with all key guidelines and evidence at that point. It will be reviewed as part of our routine update cycle by 2nd March 2013 but will be updated sooner to reflect any key guideline changes.


Dr Harry Yoxall is medical secretary of Somerset LMC.
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