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Review of complaints and compliments for a medical appraisal

This blog explains in detail all about complaints and compliments in the context of an medical appraisal.

From: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/revalidation/~/media/Files/Revalidation-and-CPD/2016/RCGP-Guide-to-Supporting-Information-2016.ashx


A complaint is a formal expression of dissatisfaction or grievance. It can be about an individual doctor, the team or about the care of patients where a doctor could be expected to have had influence or responsibility. Complaints should be seen as another type of feedback, allowing doctors and organisations to review and further develop their practice and to make patient-centred improvements.” (GMC, 2012b, p.12).

As a matter of probity, doctors should include all complaints… The doctor should document any change in their own practice that they have made, or that they have ensured in members of their team.” (AoMRC, 2014).

All organisations where doctors work should have appropriate complaints procedures, which should include all doctors who work in that organisation, including locums.

  • You should be aware of the complaints procedures for all the organisations in which you work and be kept fully informed of all formal complaints in which you are named.
  • You should include reflection on all formal complaints in which you have been named, or involved, in your appraisal every year, although if the complaint is not yet resolved your reflection may be incomplete.
  • Your reflections should consider how the complaint arose, your response and any further actions taken, or to be taken (and the results of those changes once available).
  • You may not be personally named, or involved, in any complaints during the year, in which case you should sign a statement to confirm there were none.
  • If a complaint in which you have been named goes on over several years, you do not need to reflect on it in detail at every appraisal if no significant progress has been made, but you should acknowledge that there is an ongoing complaint every year in your annual declaration, and include reflection about it at least once in every revalidation cycle.
  • All relevant data included in the appraisal and revalidation portfolio should be anonymised to remove any third party identifiable information. For this reason, although the reflection on the complaint should form part of your portfolio, specific supporting information relating to complaints may sometimes appropriately be submitted separately or reviewed in paper format, which your appraiser should then reference in your appraisal summary.


Compliments should also be presented at appraisal as they, too, provide a source of learning and reinforcement. Complaints and compliments should be summarised and anonymised before they are included in the portfolio of supporting information.” (AoMRC, 2014). 

  • You may choose to reflect on any compliments you have received annually as part of your reflection on patient (and /or colleague) feedback.
  • You should include a reflective note, rather than original material, in the electronic portfolio, due to the difficulties with anonymising data, and keep any original cards or letters, if you wish, securely in a paper portfolio. Such original data, if shared, can be referenced in the appraisal summary to preserve the anonymity of the sender without defacing the source material.
  • From: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/revalidation/~/media/Files/Revalidation-and-CPD/2016/RCGP-Guide-to-Supporting-Information-2016.ashx

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