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Responding to feedback with humanity


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Sharing feedback about a healthcare experience, whether positive or highlighting an opportunity for improvement, is an act of kindness in itself.

At Care Opinion, we call this feedback a story. It is a brief but holistic account of an experience of care as it incorporates not just want happened, but how that felt for the person.

People who share their stories have different purposes for sharing their experience of care, but they share a desire to be heard. They have put time aside to put their thoughts into words to share their experience with you. Taking the time and putting consideration into how you respond, is important.

Academic Research into Responding Effectively to Online Feedback

We have developed responding guides to responses to positive stories as well as tips on responding to critical stories. These guides have been been drawn from research examining factors that are considered helpful to writing quality responses to patient feedback by Rebecca Baines (MSc), John Donovan, Sam Regan de Bere (PhD), Julian Archer (PhD) and Ray Jones (PhD). The researchers identified 19 factors that were used to develop a conceptual framework (the Plymouth Listen, Learn and Respond framework). 

Read more in the article in the article 'Responding effectively to adult mental health patient feedback in an online environment: A coproduced frameworkpublished in 'Health Expectations', an International Journal of Public Participation in Health Care and Health Policy. 

Responding Guides

Our tips to responding to stories cover:

  • addressing the storyteller
  • validating their feelings
  • being empathetic and apologising (where appropriate)
  • providing information and education
  • explaining the next steps, including how to contact you offline and signposting to other services
  • signing your response. 



Response Training

in 2023 we are hosting monthly webinars on bringing humanity into written responses, and looking at truth vs. perception in critical stories. These sessions will enhance your ability to use your story response as an opportunity for service recovery and effective consumer engagement. 

Sign up for a session today!

Otherwise, have a look at our short video that runs for less than 9 minutes and covers some of the basic steps involved in responding to stories, including:

  • having an internal responding process in place
  • identifying staff who will be your responders
  • how to submit a response to the platform for yourself
  • how to submit a response to the platform for someone else
  • what a published response looks like.

We hope you find this video helpful.