chapter  10
15 Pages

Complaints: professional and ethical issues

WithTIM GALLAGHER, REBECCA HAWORTH

Human endeavour can lead to error and possible harm. Complaints procedures serve to address and prevent malpractice. Complaints are a complex area. Thurman (2009) contends that everyone has the right to complain. She argues for open responsiveness and willingness to listen and act on complaints. Complaints processes, however, may also arouse anxiety for professionals and complainants and affect therapeutic relationships. This chapter will try to create a sense of how one might feel to be complained about, before considering complaint frequency, the centrality of ethics, the heterogeneity of complaints and some of the potential processes involved. In addition, the issue of whistleblowing will be discussed.