Empathise with the customer and show them that you will do whatever you can to resolve the situation. Clarify for them what you think the situation is and to check your understanding. Ask them how they would like the situation to be resolved. Make a commitment to what you can do, ensuring it meets with what they want – don’t discuss what can’t be done. Ask whether your patient is in agreement with the proposed course of action.
Be realistic when considering how to resolve the complaint. For example, don’t offer to have something delivered by 9.30am the next day if there is a risk your delivery may be late. Options to resolve an issue could include replacing a product, offering a refund, making notes on a patient’s PMR to prevent it happening again (with their permission), consulting their GP or offering a gift voucher.
Take responsibility for following up any actions that you have committed to. Share the experience with the team to avoid it happening again. Be fair and honest. Thank the patient for raising a concern. Make a note of what the complaint was, the follow-up actions that have been agreed, and then write down when they have been completed.
Some complaints will need referral. Make sure the pharmacy team know who to escalate complaints to if they are not sure that they can deal with it properly. This may be to the pharmacist, the pharmacy manager, head office or a regional management team.
This should all be covered in the SOP. If a complaint is referred, the person who deals with it initially should pass on the relevant information, so that the patient doesn’t have to keep repeating themselves. Even if it has been passed on to someone else, follow it up to check that it has been resolved.
After you have dealt with the complaint, consider what caused it and what can be done to prevent it happening again. Use the opportunity to train the team to prevent problems recurring.
All contractors should have arrangements in place for the handling of complaints, under the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations. These arrangements need to ensure that:
The regulations include several major elements:
For further information, visit psnc.org.uk
Discuss the following scenarios with your team.
A customer brings back a tub of baby formula that she purchased last week. She noticed that it went out of date last month. She doesn’t have the receipt.
A customer comes in with a box of perindopril 8mg, which has been labelled perindopril 4mg. He has been taking the medicine daily for a week. He is quite angry and concerned that his blood pressure has been affected.
A regular customer who has repeat prescriptions comes in to collect her monthly items. They aren’t made up yet, but you have the prescription. She has a taxi waiting, and is getting frustrated and is complaining to your counter assistant about the delay.
Originally Published by P3 Pharmacy