It is essential that practices have a clear and transparent process for dealing with complaints.

To deal with complaints effectively, it is essential practices have in place a clear and transparent process – including the names of responsible persons, and timescales and documentation standards with which they comply. Our advisory teams are always happy to assist practices in responding to complaints as this can often prevent cases from escalating. You can also view the latest MDDUS core advice on complaints within our advice library here.

The risk team have identified the following key tools from our resources to help you review your own complaints handling processes:  

  • eLearning module: Handling GP complaints. This RCGP-accredited module helps GPs and practice managers build knowledge on the requirements associated with handling complaints. It takes around 45 minutes to complete and includes a short assessment at the end. On completion of the assessment, you can print or save a certificate for your CPD portfolio.
  • Checklist: Complaints handling. Work through this checklist as a team to review your current complaints handling system, or use it as a good practice checklist when setting up a new process within your practice.
  • MDDUS runs various interactive Zoom training events that are based around complaints with courses suitable for GPs, PMs and receptionists.
  • Team exercise: Complaints investigation quiz. Use this interactive tool to check knowledge and improve the approach you take to investigating complaints – a key aspect of successful management.
  • ArticleComplaints - responding in writing. The points within this article will allow you to check how comprehensive your complaint responses are. Providing a full and accurate response can resolve a complaint quickly and reassure the patient that you have taken their concerns seriously.
  • Blog: Reviewing complaints at appraisal – a positive approach. This guest blog by Dr Rod McBain draws on episode 2 of our Risk Bites podcast series. It advocates a positive approach to addressing complaints and adverse incidents by undertaking significant event analyses, a useful learning tool, and including these for review at appraisal.
  • Blog: Reduce complaints by increasing positivity. Evidence suggests that taking a more positive approach to patient encounters can reduce complaints and increase patient satisfaction scores. Use this blog by MDDUS senior risk adviser, Liz Price, to identify areas for improvement in your own interactions to reduce negative experiences for patients.
  • Risk alert: Keep complaint records separate. How organisations go about resolving patient complaints will vary depending on the circumstances - but one often overlooked aspect is documenting such matters.
  • Risk alertAdding “violence warning markers” to patient records. It may be tempting to add a warning marker or alert to aggressive patients' records, but MDDUS urges caution

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

Related Content


Complaints in practice - GP workshop

Bleak Practice three

Bleak Practice 6

Bleak Practice six

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.