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Listening, responding, improving: a guide to better customer care

  • Document type:
  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    26 February 2009
  • Product number:
    292319 (main document), 290664 (quick guide)
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Health and social care staff strive to get things right but, if a mistake does happen, the important thing is to put things right and to use the experience to learn and improve.

The complaints system is being reformed because many problems take too long to resolve and services don't try to systematically learn from mistakes.

From the 1st April 2009, there will be a single approach to dealing with complaints. It will give organisations the flexibility they need to deal with complaints effectively. It will also encourage a culture that seeks and then uses people’s experiences to make services more effective, personal and safe.

The guide ‘Listening, Responding, Improving’ has been developed to help complaints professionals work with colleagues to make their organisations better at listening, responding and learning from people’s experiences.

It is designed to be accessible to anyone working in health and social care organisations who is involved in receiving feedback and resolving concerns and complaints from patients, service users and their representatives.

Additional advice sheets for complaints professionals have also been produced covering: investigating complaints, joint complaints that involve more than one organisation and dealing with serious complaints that have safety implications.

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