Writing responses to complaints is an essential skill for all healthcare professionals. It can help alleviate distressing situations, improve service delivery and prevent any further escalation.

By writing more effective responses to complaints, your organisation will improve its reputation, and enhance trust with patients and their families.

This ‘Effective Responses to Complaints in Healthcare’ course focuses on discussing and delivering effective complaints letter writing skills, through a combination of expert tutor input, group discussion and practical, supported exercises.

By running this course for your organisation In-House, your team will leave the day with the techniques and the confidence to write more effective responses to complaints. We will also provide you with a comprehensive booklet and handouts which will help you back at work.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand what is working and what needs improvement in hospital complaints letter writing
  • Learn from best practice how to respond to a complaint
  • Effectively assess and plan your reply
  • Develop practical written techniques to elicit information from colleagues
  • Create credible correspondence moving forward
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:45 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Patient Complaints: What is Working – and What Needs to Improve

  • Respond to reviews that highlight the need for better complaint handling
  • Overview of trends and insight into the most common complaints
  • Lack of information, dignity and care, comments on staff attitudes and lack of resources
  • Understand the effect complaints have on both NHS staff and patients and their families
10:45 - 11:30

Best and Bad Practice

  • Assess a range of real-life correspondence
  • Identify best practice use of style, tone, vocabulary, presentation of facts and evidence and expert comment
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 12:45

Assessing and Planning Your Reply

  • Understand how patients want their complaint handled and what they expect from the reply
  • Develop planning tools to create a suitable reply
  • Identify ‘trigger’ point from correspondence to provide better responses
12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:30

Asking for Answers

One of the most challenging aspects of handling correspondence is getting a timely response from colleagues who hold vital information.

  • Ensure that your response is delivered efficiently
  • Develop practical written techniques to elicit information from colleagues
14:30 - 16:00

Creating Credible Correspondence

In this practical session, delegates will create and give feedback on a range of letters to review and refresh personal skills.

  • Utilise skills developed throughout the day to create letters
  • Develop your own best practice
  • Identify areas for improvement
16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation & Close