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Saying thank you and making complaints

Acknowledging when and where clinics get it right is just as important as complaining. Dedicated staff work very hard to ensure that clinic services meet our needs with the least discomfort and embarrassment. Quite simply, if you’re pleased with the service say-so and spread the word.

Making a complaint can be difficult and embarrassing, particularly if it involves coming face to face (again) with the member of staff about whom you’re complaining. Think carefully about

  • why you are complaining
  • what you want to say
  • what you want to get out of the situation.

Maybe it’s an apology you want, or an improvement in the service you’ve received?

Being clear and calm will not just help you but also the clinic in understanding why you’ve made the complaint in the first place. You may want to deal with the situation then and there. Alternatively, when you get home make a note of the incident before contacting the clinic again. An irate call to the clinic may make you feel better but unless you provide your name, who was involved, and what happened, it’s unlikely that the clinic can carry the complaint further).

It may be useful to talk it through with a friend - preferably one who’ll be supportive but objective. If you don’t wish to contact the member of staff concerned directly, try the clinic’s business manager or senior clinician. Some clinics have a system for complaints and suggestions and this may be a useful place to start.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Alternatively, clinics are usually part of a hospital or NHS type Trust with a Patient Advice and Liaison Service where you can raise your concern or make your complaint through them.

What is Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)? | NHS Choices
Find a PALS near you | NHS Choices

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