NHS Complaint Standards: Summary of expectations

Definitions

We use the following definitions in the Complaint Standards:

Feedback: an opinion, whether invited or spontaneous, that can be positive, negative or neutral.

Complaint: an expression of dissatisfaction - either spoken or written - that requires a response. It can be about an act, omission or decision made, or the standard of service provided.

These definitions should be considered within the context of ‘no issue is too big to be a concern and no issue is too small to be a complaint’.

Staff: all staff providing NHS-funded services whose role involves them interacting with people who use, or support others to use, their service. This covers all clinical and non-clinical staff who have a public-facing role. It also covers private healthcare providers when they are delivering NHS-funded healthcare.

Senior staff: those who are responsible for leading the NHS organisation, and/or who have senior responsibility for how the organisation handles feedback and complaints and learns from them.

Complaints staff: staff who have a specific responsibility to look into and investigate complaints. This may be as part of their existing role, or dedicated complaints staff whose main responsibility is to handle feedback and complaints within their organisation.

NHS organisations: any organisation that provides NHS-funded services, including private healthcare providers when they are delivering NHS-funded healthcare.