Work in the NHS? Five ways to let people know you’re using their views to improve care

Every year, NHS and social care staff receive millions of pieces of feedback from those using services. Read these top tips to help ensure people know how you are using their feedback to improve care.
Person sitting in a hospital waiting area

When it comes to running a successful service, the better you know your customers’ needs and wants, the better service you can deliver.

Feedback from people using health and social care services comes in many forms and can provide you with an invaluable insight into whether your service is working.

But whether you’re responding in to an individual comment in person, feedback online or dealing with a complaint, how you respond can have a big impact on how people feel about your service.

Did you know?

37% of people we polled said they would be ‘very interested’ in providing feedback if it helped improve local care services.

To help NHS and social care professionals get it right, Wessex Voices have produced top tips to help the public know that you are listening to their views.

1. Acknowledge feedback positively

It takes time and effort for people to share their views. Thanking people sincerely, whether a comment is positive or negative, helps to let them know that you value people’s feedback to help learn and improve.

2. Listen with an open mind

The feedback you get may not reflect how you think your service works but it is important to listen with an open mind.  Taking the time to understand and learn from someone’s story could give your service a fresh perspective.

3. Sound human

People can find large organisations intimidating. You can help when you respond by avoiding jargon, not sounding scripted, explaining who you are and making clear that you are taking their experiences seriously.

4. Be honest

Make clear what you can and can’t do, and by when. Apologise if something was wrong and say how you will use this feedback to make things better for the future.

5.Answer the real need and be timely

Keep your explanations clear and relevant, respond in good time and explain when the individual can expect an update on progress.

Before you respond, it’s also worth thinking ‘If I was in their shoes, would I be satisfied with this response?’.  Walking in the person’s shoes before replying could make all the difference to them and you.

Find out more

Read the top-tips on responding to feedback in full.

Find out more

This article is based on ‘Really responding: Top tips for responding to feedback’ produced by Wessex Voices, a partnership of local Healthwatch in Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of White, Southampton and Portsmouth and NHS England (Wessex).

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