Devastated following a complaint

“I was devastated to get a letter from the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) to say that I was being investigated following a complaint by the relatives of one of the patients I had looked after for some time.  I remembered the patient well as I had spent a lot of time with him and had done my very best for him.  It was therefore very upsetting that there was a complaint against me despite doing everything I could to the best of my ability for the individual.   

I began to doubt my own judgements on what I was doing in my day to day work with other patients.  I feared for my job, my professional registration and my reputation.  The organisation I was working for at the time paid for a solicitor and barrister. I had done nothing wrong and yet I was made to feel like a villain and perpetrator rather than the compassionate caring health professional I tried so hard to be. It was a hard time of worrying and waiting. It lasted almost four years.    

Almost four years later and two days into the hearing, the case was thrown out. Caris’s book, Failing Intelligently, has been hugely helpful in working through some of the issues that this situation generated.”   

We want to thank this anonymous contributor for sharing their story. There will be many others out there who in the course of professional activities have faced complaints and allegations that are not founded. Nevertheless, they have had to go through the hard process of investigation and suffered over a period of time. These things are never easy and can lead to a profound sense of failure and failing even when the individual has not done anything wrong. It is crucial that individuals in this position seek the support that they need and do not struggle alone.