About the Complaint Standards Framework

What benefits will the Framework bring?

The Framework will deliver many positive outcomes through setting out a clear and consistent set of expectations for complaint handling. It will give NHS staff and patients a single vision of what is expected when a complaint is raised. This will ensure everyone experiences a culture that seeks out learning from feedback and complaints, and meets the desired outcomes set out in My Expectations. 

The Framework is the first step towards recognising complaint handling as a professional skill across the NHS. It will set a clear path for all NHS services to harness the rich learning that comes from feedback and complaints to help improve services for the benefit of all. 

It will help to address and resolve more complaints at the earliest opportunity, which is to the benefit of everyone. People will get answers to their concerns quickly. They will see staff taking learning forward to improve services for future users.

Earlier resolution of complaints will also reduce the need for complaints to become legal claims or be referred to the Ombudsman. This can save both financial and emotional costs for everyone.

The Framework will promote:

  • better accountability and openness through a just and learning culture
  • better communication between the NHS and its users, leading to improvements in services. 

It will guide organisations of all sizes to put the right structures and systems in place so they can capture and examine learning to gain true insight into how people experience their services.

The Framework combined with the training and further guidance will see more organisations following similar processes across the country. This will lead to a better, more consistent approach to complaint handling across organisations delivering NHS services, and more effective reporting and learning from complaints.

The Framework is the first step towards recognising complaint handling as a professional skill across the NHS.