Problem Statement

The Feedback Central team was established on 8 June 2018 as recommended in the Decision Document: Feedback Central / Directorate of Patient Care (March 2018).

The key reason for establishing Feedback Central was that CM Health was not meeting the standards relating to feedback and complaints. In particular, there was:

  • variable rigour when addressing complaints
  • failure to log and acknowledge all complaints
  • lack of consistency in resources and approaches for addressing complaints across the divisions
  • inadequate focus on timely and effective resolution of complaints
  • variable quality of responses to complainants.

What are we trying to achieve?

Our vision: To coordinate fair, simple, speedy, efficient patient and whaanau-centred resolution of all feedback, working in partnership with services across CM Health.

Aim: To complete and resolve complaints within the timeframes (five working days to acknowledge and 20 working days to resolve) for 100% of complaints received by 30 June 2019.

It was planned that Feedback Central, as a dedicated centralised team, will provide feedback and adverse event management services that meet standards and consumer expectations, while ensuring ownership of the complaint remains with the service and existing clinical relationships are preserved. Through centralising key functions, consolidating resources and providing expertise there will be a single contact point for feedback, expert advice and coordination, particularly for complex investigations involving multiple services.

What have we done?

The Feedback Central team was established within the Chief Medical Officer Directorate. It consists of six full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, including three staff who have transferred from other services within CM Health and three staff recruited for the new positions.

To date, the team has achieved the following.

  • Developed the Feedback Central vision and aim, focusing first on managing complaints resolution within the timeframes.
  • Met with key divisions and their Clinical Quality and Risk Managers to develop standardised processes, roles and responsibilities for managing complaints and compliments.
  • Taken on responsibility for coordinating Health and Disability Commissioner, coroners, Chief Executive Officer, and Ministry of Health complaint investigations and responses across CM Health.
  • Developed a centralised email address for complaints and updated the CM Health website with Feedback Central’s contact details.
  • Developed reporting requirements and a dashboard for CM Health services and leadership.
  • Updated the Complaint Management Policy and procedures; these have now been approved by the Clinical Goverance Group (CGG).
  • Standardised the complaint acknowledgement letter to include details of the Health and Disability Commission and the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy brochure.
  • Updated the ‘Have Your Say’ fedback form, so there is now one standardised form for use across CM Health. The Consumer Council provided feedback during the development of the form.
  • Supported the two new groups established following the completion of the Adverse Events Committee review: the Adverse Events Operational Group and Adverse Events Governance Group. Feedback Central supports the groups by establishing reliable data for current cases, completing reports, coordinating processes and reporting to the Health Quality and Safety Commission. Two Consumer Council representatives are members of each adverse event group.
  • Completed two workshops on mapping the patient experience and empathetic language. The team is currently testing use of the Emotions Wheel in triage, to report key emotional words made within a complaint, in order to provide a more person-focused approach to complaint resolution.
  • Received feedback from a review of complaints and adverse events management processes and structures. The review was conducted by three external district health board (DHB) managers and the chair of the CM Health Consumer Council was completed in March 2019. The report was provided on 24 May 2019. An action plan is to be developed with improvements and recommendations to be implemented within the next six months.

What did we find?



How did we make a difference?

We have achieved our aim of acknowledging 100% of complaints within five working days. This is a result of standardising the process for logging and acknowledging compliants. All complaints are now acknowledged by the Feedback Central team. 

Where to from here?

Our plans for the future include:

  • providing data analysis, and regular reports and dashboards for CM Health services and leadership
  • communicating and promoting the role of Feedback Central across CM Health, and continuing to standardise the processes for management of complaints and feedback
  • supporting the adverse events groups to develop action focused improvements and corrective action plans, and to implement them within timeframes
  • identifying themes and sharing lessons from feedback, complaints and compliments received across CM Health; and linking these to improvement projects
  • supporting the upgrade for RiskMPro and FMPro, which has been approved for 2019/2020, in partnership with Waitemata DHB
  • developing training plans for CM Health staff on managing incidents, adverse events and feedback.

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