The purpose of this policy is to define the appropriate standards for the creation, maintenance and disposal of files relating to complaints about health services received by Ashford & St Peter’s Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust).

This policy takes account of statutory requirements and guidance upon Complaints Handling.



The Trust is committed to timely, honest and comprehensive investigation and resolution of complaints. The process for handling complaints is detailed in the Trust’s Complaints Procedure. This policy should be used in conjunction with the Complaints Procedure, to ensure a comprehensive and well-maintained record of each complaint that has been received, investigated and responded to by the Trust. Ensuring good complaints file management ensures that:

  • the Trust remains transparent in its dealings with people who complain about its services
  • the Trust can meet its obligations under access to records legislation
  • the Trust can demonstrate an ‘audit trail’ and provide a clear documented account of what investigation/actions have been carried out for each individual complaint
  • there is an appropriate level of protection of information contained within complaints files
  • the Trust ensures that patients, carers and relatives’ concerns and complaints are treated confidentially, and the care they receive will not adversely be affected as a result of raising a complaint.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Patient Experience Manager
Ratified by: Management Board
Date Ratified: October 2014
Date Issued: November 2014
Review Date: September 2017
Target Audience: All staff involved in Complaints Investigation Process
Contact name: Patient Experience Manager


See also:

  • Complaints Procedure
  • Guidance - Access to Health Records
  • Freedom of Information Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Policy and Procedure for Management of Records