By K W Warburton, The Reluctant Spoonie
My experience with healthcare professionals has been mixed. Occasionally, I will get a doctor who is interested in my condition and is invested in helping me. Most of this time, doctors do not grasp the severity of my condition and are somewhat unwilling to help me. Sadly, over the course of my illness, I’ve had to write many letters of complaint to the doctors who were treating me because I wasn’t receiving a good standard of care. I recently wrote a letter of complaint to my Cardiologist and I am now on a successful treatment programme for my illness.
Write your own letter of complaint using my top tips.
1. Make a list of what you are unhappy with
List the key points that you want to address in your letter. Are you unhappy with something that they said or did? Are you waiting too long in-between appointments?
2. Outline what you want to change
What outcome do you want to achieve from this letter? Do you want to have more tests? Do you want them to make a diagnosis?
3. Highlight how your illness is affecting your life
Are you now house/ bedbound? Have you lost your job? Did you have to move back in with your parents?
4. Check the complaints procedure at your hospital
Decide if you want to go through a formal complaints procedure or if you want to send the letter to the doctor directly.
5. Use emotive language
Remember, your doctor is also a person and using emotive language is more likely to get a quicker response.
6. Be polite
No need to insult them. Be polite and state your complaint clearly and you will be more likely to get the result that you’re looking for.
7. Get someone to proof-read it for you
Get a friend to check your spelling and grammar as well as checking that you’ve included all the points that you want to cover.
Sometimes it can be scary to tell someone that they’re in the wrong, especially if that person is a doctor. It is important to remember that their decisions will directly affect your life. If you are unhappy with the decisions that your doctor is making, then you have every right to tell them. I always find that putting something in writing gets the best response, as a message left to a secretary can easily get lost.