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An insider’s guide to responding to complaints

Dear Mr Jones,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very comprehensive and very detailed letter of complaint.1

Firstly we would like to reassure you that our automatic check-in machine is cleaned regularly and the practice has an annual visit from infection control. As health care professionals we take these issues very seriously and we do our utmost to prevent the spread of infection.2

Regarding your concern about the length of time that it took our receptionist to answer your call on the morning of the 14th we could like to reassure you that we have recently undertaken a comprehensive audit of this area.3 We do our best to answer as promptly as we can but on very busy days after a bank holiday when patient demand is high this is sometimes not possible.4

I believe you were referred promptly to the hospital for your hernia operation but it was the aftercare that caused you some concern.5

We would like to stress that daily review by our practice nurse with wound swabs and close follow up was an appropriate level of clinical contact. We also feel that your request for a house-call was not appropriate but the duty doctor could have communicated this with you better.6

I hope that we can continue to provide a high level of clinical care for you and your family in the future.7

Yours Sincerely8,

Dr H


(1)     That was sarcastic by the way, clearly you don't get out enough.

(2)     Have you tried washing your hands once in a while you dirty *****!

(3)     This is general practice, not a pizza delivery service.

(4)     Have you ever seen the film Resident Evil?

(5)     Maybe if you hadn’t picked away at the dressing and played around with your steristrips like an insolent child it would have healed up a little quicker!

(6)     You were walking around Tesco doing your weekly shop when you made the request, which is just a complete pisstake.

(7)     Please please please register with another practice!  

(8)     F*ck off! And stop wasting our time.