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Article 3. Complaint management, project management and broken ECG machines: all in a day's work
  1. J Wardrope,
  2. S McCormick
  1. Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Mr Wardrope (Jim.Wardrope{at}

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Thank you for the replies to last month's in tray. Further feedback is given in emjonline (www.emjonline/contents/SIMS3).

The strategic reports were very interesting and many had similar ideas to Dr York's own analysis (detailed feedback on internet). Some of you suggested that the report should be shared with the chief executive. This is a high risk strategy but with a possibility of gaining influence in high places. Most of you identified the accident and emergency (A&E) staff as key stakeholders and suggested a “time out” with the staff. This was successful and a brief report of this meeting is appended. Unfortunately Sister Oak was on annual leave and Mr London did not come as it was his half day (file note of this meeting on the internet). The next stage is to formulate a project plan for the major objectives. Aspiration is easy, realisation is difficult.Emerg Med J 2001;18:283–284

The complainant is still very unhappy and is asking for an independent review. Her letter and the response are on the internet. This complaint is not going well and we will take a “time out” to examine the reasons and see if lessons can be learned.

Some of you acted on the results that were in the first “in tray” but many did not. A letter from a solicitor has arrived and likely to result in a claim for damages.

Letter has arrived from Sister Oak who has seen a copy of your strategy and is not happy with some aspects of it and is also unhappy she was not consulted.

Your report has also ruffled more feathers. The medical director is not happy that the chief executive has been sent a report without his input.

A letter of response to Mr Glasgow shows you are willing …

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  • Conflicts of interest: JW is an editor of the EMJ but this series was conceived and approved before he took up that post.