Effective complaints handling in secondary care

Future dates for this course will be announced.

6 CPD credits*

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.

This course complements the Conflict resolution and mediation course. They are on consecutive days to make it easier for you to attend both courses if you would like to.

Who should attend?

  • Consultants/specialists
  • Hospital doctors
  • Training grade doctors (ST1-8)
  • Foundation doctors (F2 only)

*This course has been approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK for 6 category 1 (external) CPD credits.


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.

Sally Old MDU medico-legal adviser

Dr Sally Old

Medico-legal adviser

Sally was a consultant clinical oncologist before joining the MDU in 2006. She trained in hospital medicine before specialising in cancer treatment, including radiotherapy. With a main interest in thoracic oncology, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, her clinical role involved producing reports for solicitors and the local Coroners. This sparked her desire to know more about medico-legal medicine. Sally has an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Kent. She is a Member of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine and sits on its Revalidation Committee.


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  • Consultant, ,Pennine Acute Trust
  • 29 July 2019 5:00PM

excellent interactive and thought provoking

  • Consultant, Torbay and Devon Trust
  • 29 July 2019 4:57PM

Wish I had done this many years ago.

  • Consultant, Chelmsford
  • 29 July 2019 4:21PM

In this day and age, doctors concentrate a lot on their procedural clinical work and forget that dealing with complaints is a huge part of good clinical care. This course provides a good insight into achieving satisfied patients and in turn a better nights sleep!