Supporting information on the Complaint Standards Framework for the NHS



5. For this document we use the following definitions:

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

Complaint a complaint or concern is an expression of dissatisfaction about an act, omission or decision of the provider, either spoken or written, and whether justified or not, which requires a response.

The above 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 this covers all staff providing NHS funded services whose role involves them interacting with people who use, or support others to use, their service on a regular basis.  This covers all clinical and non-clinical staff who have a public-facing role. 

Senior staff this refers to 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 this is a member of staff who has 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 this is any organisation that provides NHS funded services, it includes organisations that provide NHS services outsourced to private companies.