Effective complaints handling in primary care

Future dates for this course will be announced.

6 hours of CPD*

After careful consideration we have decided not to run face to face courses until further notice. When the situation changes we will update our website.

Complaints are common and rising year on year. Effective complaints handling is important to avoid matters escalating. It also encourages continuous improvement in the quality and safety of care.

This course sets out the regulatory framework for complaints in the NHS and your obligations, and provides practical experience of responding to complaints.

Topics covered include:

  • what is a complaint and what do people complain about?
  • why is it important to handle complaints effectively?
  • what you can do to minimise your risk of getting a complaint
  • meeting with complainants
  • the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • the NHS complaints procedure and your obligations
  • using lessons learned as a driver for change and improvement.

Who should attend?

  • GPs
  • Training grade doctors (GPST1-4)
  • Practice managers

*Worth 6 hours of CPD when accompanied by a reflective note.


Lee Bennett

Lee Bennett

Strategic complaints lead, NHS England

Lee was former assistant director of patient experience and public engagement at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust until he joined NHS England in 2013. He has been a witness at a Health Select Committee giving evidence on what good complaints handling looks like and he previously chaired the East of England's Complaints Managers' Forum. 

Since working at NHS England, Lee has worked on joint research with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on complaints handling; published NHS England's Quality Framework for Complaints Handling; and commissioned toolkits on complaints handling for acute and primary care. 

He is currently rolling out NHS England's peer review of the complaint handling programme.

Dr Clare Sweeney

Dr Clare Sweeney

MDU medico-legal adviser

Clare graduated from Queen's University in Belfast in 1990 and trained as a GP. Before joining the MDU she worked as a GP partner for over 20 years. She completed a Master's Degree in Medical Law in 2014. Clare has a special interest in the legal and ethical aspects of end of life care.


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  • GP, Lancashire
  • 29 January 2020 3:01PM

Clarifies a lot of issues & gives good advice about responding to complaints as well as to reflection in everyday practice

  • Practice Manager, St Helen's
  • 29 January 2020 2:57PM

Very Informative and interesting - worth the day away from the practice.

  • Practice Manager, Southport
  • 29 January 2020 2:55PM

Well presented, interactive, lots of appropriate information and teaching, well planned

  • GP, Leeds
  • 22 May 2019 9:09AM

Very informative and useful .

Speakers were both knowledgeable and clear .

  • GP, Caterham
  • 8 January 2019 10:13AM

I feel much better equipped to handle future complaints. I wish I had attended earlier on in my career, could have avoided unnecessarily stressful situations. I will be recommending this course to my Primary Care colleagues and will make sure our Practice Managers gets the opportunity to attend.

  • GP, Devon
  • 8 May 2018 3:42PM

This course was absolutely what I wanted it to be and also very enjoyable

  • PM, St Albans
  • 8 May 2018 3:39PM

Thank you very much. The whole team was very professional and friendly and overall the day was extremely useful.

  • GP, Bradford
  • 23 April 2018 1:22PM

Essential to attend to learn about what a complaint is, how to manage it and how to cope with the stress of dealing with a complaint

  • Consultant, Bournemouth
  • 23 April 2018 1:18PM

A really good mix of the legislation relating to complaints and some practical examples of how to answer complaints