A Journey Through Complaints and Incidents Using Empathy

Event details


Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, Derby

London Road
United Kingdom

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52.9152845, -1.4675936

Event Organiser

NCORE (National Centre of Rehabilitation Education)

01332 254679



A Journey Through Complaints and Incidents Using Empathy

EventID: 3111

Date: 7th September 2022

Venue:  Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, London Road, Derby DE1 2QY.

Trainer: Carolyn Cleveland

BSc (Hons) Cert Counselling

Founder and Managing Director of C&C Empathy Training



This thought provoking, one day course, empowers staff to journey through and explore the emotion behind, concerns, complaints and incidents to improve outcomes and the emotional experience.

Complaints, incidents and patient care in the NHS often go beyond dissatisfaction of a service and into issues of patient safety, harm, and sadly even death. In the National Guidance on Learning from Deaths Report by The National Quality Board (NQB) has highlighted 8 key principles when dealing with bereaved families and carers, stating that 'Providers should ensure that their staff has the necessary skills, expertise and knowledge to engage with bereaved families and carers'.

The facilitator of this one day course, Carolyn Cleveland of C&C Empathy Training, will build confidence working with vulnerable or bereaved people by supporting staff attending to recognise emotional component to minimise conflict and to meet the principles to comply with preventing prolonged psychological harm (Duty of Candour). It will provide insight to what gets in the way of empathy and compassion and the role our own emotions and wellbeing play in our interactions. In an emotive bit also relaxed and humorous way, empathy will be taken out of the textbook and into real life.


Key Learning Outcomes:
1. Recognising the presence and absence of empathy from real life insight and experience. Identifying and understanding emotionally focused thinking and 'emotional data'
2. How lack of empathy has the potential to cause psychological harm; how to respond to others using empathy, to build trust. Gain confidence communicating with bereaved loved ones
3. How to develop empathy, understand what gets in the way, manage and optimise empathy
4. How to improve the complaints experience and not exacerbate conflict, to reach a 'Safeguarded Personal Resolution' ®
5. Understand how to be more self- aware and use these skills for personal wellbeing, best practice, and CPD appraisal


Suitable for all those working in healthcare wishing to understand some of the emotional drivers behind complaints and Incidents.


Quotes from previous delegates
"Carolyn presented to our healthcare team and clients on ensuring we deal with patients and their loved ones empathetically once an incident arises in a hospital setting. We all often assume we are being empathetic but it was very powerful to listen to Carolyn's case studies and personal experience and consider how we can all do so much better when managing an incident. Whilst obviously a sensitive subject it was delivered in an exceptionally powerful and interesting way. There is no doubt your training Carolyn, has assisted us in managing incidents in a more human and sensitive way which will be to the benefit of patients, their loved ones and staff".
Christopher Malla, Partner, Kennedys Law

“I attended Carolyn’s Empathy Training recently as a team member of the NHS Complaints process. Carolyn’s session was informative, personal and allowed us to feel and express a wide range of emotions. Not only did she open up her world to us with her story, she also opened up her heart to us with her warm approach. I enjoyed the variety of different empathetic training resources used (story-telling, psychological texts, videos, group discussions) which meant that the session was split up into interesting segments. I would definitely recommend Carolyn’s empathy training sessions to all- not just on a professional level, but on a life lesson level also. Thank you, Carolyn, for your time and it was a pleasure to get to know you, and grow through you.”
Natasha (Tash) Field, Complaints Officer, NHS England Complaints Team (London Region)

“The training course has been well received and discussed very much throughout the Trust. It is recommended to each other by colleagues and more importantly staff have considered much more the consequences not just to each other, but to the patient, carer and the patient’s recovery if they do not take the time to listen and engage.”
Beth Brand, Head of Patient Experience, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

“I have learnt new things about myself professionally and personally(emotionally.) I think I have a good ability to empathise, but could strengthen this and not try and fix the situation all the time”
Complaints Manager, NELFT

"All too often the terms of the conversation people have with the NHS about a concern or complaint are set by the organisation. Organisations can often be too quick to dismiss or explain away concerns, compounding the grief of bereaved families and carers with obfuscation and a lack of openness. Paying close attention to what bereaved families and carers say can offer an invaluable source of insight to improve clinical practice.”
NQB, National Guidance on Learning from Deaths, March 2017


    Attendance Information

    • Attendance Certificate: Yes
    • CPD Hours: 7



    • £130