An explanation of the NHS complaint letter template …

You may have to remind them that the NHS is legally obliged to investigate compl
Regulation 16 – Receiving & Acting on Complaints

Regulation 16.1

  • Any verbal or written complaint must be investigated
  • Complainants care and treatment must not be affected if they make a complaint.
  • Information must be available on how to take further action if they are not satisfied with how the response.

Regulation 16.2

Information and guidance about how to complain must be available in multiple languages and formats.

Infromation must be available on support services whilst the complaint is ongoing. This may be through advocates or interpreter services.

What is an investigation?

Is this an investigation or a debate?

In my complaint letter, i always request that phrases such ‘in my/our opinion’ Or ‘I/we cannot believe’ are excluded. As I do not believe that an investigation is a forum to express opinions.

what is evidence?

I have learned that a poorly investigated and flawed NHS complaint investigation report will rely heavily on (…) “I /we could find no evidence to support your concern”  i strongly recommend that you ask the investigator, to include a robust definition of the ‘term evidence and to provide an explanation why documents were included or excluded.

evidence comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not for the nhs complaints departments to reject evidence as it is not in the evidence template formula.

‘Im just trying to be helpful’. No you are doing the job you are paid to do. If you were a stranger passing by offering assistance, that would be helpful.

The template letter outlines what you expect to achieve from your complaint. Click to open and edit the compliant template.

or continue reading for instructions and explanatiins on how to personalise the complaint template.

Branded versus no name brand evidence

Evidence does not have to come into the NHS format


Being transparent means the person cannot, and doesn’t conceal anything – be it facts, emotions or talks. … If “Someone is Transparent” it means that person cannot or does not hide or conceal anything. It means observers who want to know what this “Someone” is up to, the observers are free to observe.

Clinical guidelines

Regulation 14 – investigation and response

Regulation 14.1a

investigate the complaint in a manner appropriate to resolve it speedily and efficiently; where necessary get independent evidence and an opinion,

Regulation 14.1b

(b) during the investigation, keep the complainant informed, as far as reasonably practicable, as to the progress of the investigation.

Regulation 14.2

As soon as reasonably practicable after completing the investigation, the responsible body must send the complainant in writing a response, signed by the responsible person, which includes—

(a) a report which includes the following matters—

(i) an explanation of how the complaint has been considered; and

(ii) the conclusions reached in relation to the complaint, including any matters for which the complaint specifies, or the responsible body considers, that remedial action is needed; and

(b) confirmation as to whether the responsible body is satisfied that any action needed in consequence of the complaint has been taken or is proposed to be taken;

The lock ness monster regulation. Has anyone seen a real apology from the NHS?

Regulation 20 – Duty to say sorry if things went wrong

The aim of this regulation is to ensure that providers are open and transparent with people who use services

It also sets out some specific requirements that providers must follow when things go wrong with care and treatment, including informing people about the incident, providing reasonable support, providing truthful information and an apology.

• Candour – any patient harmed by the provision of a healthcare service is informed of the fact and an appropriate remedy offered, regardless of whether a complaint has been made or a question asked about it.

• Make sure it acts in an open and transparent way with relevant persons in relation to care and treatment provided to people who use services in carrying on a regulated activity.

• Tell the relevant person, in person, as soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware that a notifiable safety incident has occurred, and provide support to them in relation to the incident, including when giving the notification.

• Provide an account of the incident which, to the best of the provider’s knowledge, is true of all the facts the body knows about the incident as at the date of the notification.

• Advise the relevant person what further enquiries the provider believes are appropriate.

• Offer an apology.

• Follow up the apology by giving the same information in writing, and providing

an update on the enquiries.

• Keep a written record of all communication with the relevant person.

Regulation 20.1

Openness – enabling concerns and complaints to be raised freely without fear and questions asked to be answered.

• Transparency – allowing information about the truth about performance and outcomes to be shared with staff, patients, the public and regulators.

Regulation 20.2

Regulation 20.3

Regulation 20.4

Regulation 20.5

Confirmation bias

Regulation 13 – the process before the investigation

Regulation 13.3

it must acknowledge the complaint not later than 3 working days after the day on which it receives the notification.

Regulation 13.7

At the time it acknowledges the complaint, the responsible body must offer to discuss with the complainant, at a time to be agreed with the complainant—

(a) the manner in which the complaint is to be handled; and

(b) the period (“the response period”) within which—

(i) the investigation of the complaint is likely to be completed; and

(ii) the response required by regulation 14(2) is likely to be sent to the complainant.

Regulation 13.8

If the complainant does not accept the offer of a discussion under paragraph (7), the responsible body must—

(a) determine the response period specified in paragraph (7)(b); and

(b) notify the complainant in writing of that period

the legal obligations of the NHS complaints process

Why you need to know the laws governing NHS complaints

  • To prevent abuses of your emotions, time and resources.
  • To limit abuses of your time and resources

  • The NHS complaints departments will never meet a self-imposed deadlines. I am unsure if this is strategic incompetence on the part of the NHS complaints departments to control their workload or if it’s the ignorance of the Acts of the UK Parliament and UK regulations of NHS complaints.The most common tactic is not to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint. Or postponing the deadline the report is due on the afternoon of the day the report is due. It does not promote faith in the compliants process. It does cause distress and increased stress. To prevent this happening I have learned to set out my boundaries from the start of the process and impose penalties, if my conditions are not met. These financial penalties could be avoided if the NHS complaints department acted within their own self-imposed deadlines and respected the laws of the UK Parliament. If they missed any of the deadlines I do invoice the CEO. I use the invoice as a motivator for that particular NHS complaints department to work to their self imposed deadlines.It will be up to you to decide whether you’re going to pursue payment of the invoice.
  • To limit further abuses of my time, I feel the need to impose the following conditions: 

    • From X date for every day the three complaint acknowledgement deadline is not met, i will charge your organisation £10 per day, until I receive the acknowledgment.

    • I will invoice your organisation £10 for every email I need to send seeking information or clarification.
    • Once the the complaint investigation deadline is set, if this is not met without at least a ten day notice period, then I will charge

    To prevent abuses of your emotions

    Emotional abuse is often associated with an imbalance of power imbalance over a prolonged period of time. Work related emotional abuse tactics are often subtle.

    They can include denying that events happened. Minimising your injuries, pain or concerns. Or refusing to listen or respond to your written communications. This can cause a decrease in your self-worth and emotional well being . Which can manifest in the following ways:

    • Not pursuing the complaint due to a loss of motivation, fear of harassment or fear your complaint wont be taken seriously.
    • Sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, tiredness, low mood, and feeling powerless or out of control.
    • Loss of trust in the NHS and healthcare professionals.
    1.  Lie and Exaggerate. The gaslighter creates a negative narrative about the gaslightee (“There’s something wrong and inadequate about you”), based on generalized false presumptions and accusations, rather than objective, independently verifiable facts, thereby putting the gaslightee on the defensive.
    2.  Repetition. Like psychological warfare, the falsehoods are repeated constantly in order to stay on the offensive, control the conversation, and dominate the relationship.
    3. Escalate When Challenged. When called on their lies, the gaslighter escalates the dispute by doubling and tripling down on their attacks, refuting substantive evidence with denial, blame, and more false claims (misdirection), sowing doubt and confusion.
    4.  Give False Hope. As a manipulative tactic, the gaslighter will occasionally treat the victim with mildness, moderation, and even superficial kindness or remorse, to give the gaslightee false hope. In these circumstances, the victim might think: “Maybe he’s really not THAT bad,” “Maybe things are going to get better,” or “Let’s give it a chance.” But beware! The temporary mildness is often a calculated maneuver intended to instill complacency and have the victim’s guard down before the next act of gaslighting begins.

    Remedy of complaint


    What should i do if the NHS department/Hospital ignores Its legal obligations?

    As the NHS complaints departments need to be held accountable their failures to work within the confines of the NHS regulations. If after warning them that a failure to follow the regulations will result in them being charged. Then send them an invoice. It is up to you to decide if you wish to chase up the unpaid invoice. However, if this tactic is used widely, someone will have to chase up the unpaid invoice or it will lose its power.

    Remember that if the complaints staff did the job they were paid to do, there would be no need to invoice them.

    What are my options if my complaint is not upheld?  Or how do i request a financial remedy and an explanation of why this was allowed to happen?

    do you need to get a copy of your medical records?

    Or read how to investigate your own healthcare records?

    How to ask if this treatment error or misdiagnosis has happened before?

    Please feel free to share your family friendly, inoffensive to any race, religion or sexual orientation comments in the box below. All comments are moderated before they are published.

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