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NHS Customer Service Excellence

13½ hours including assessment - (usually delivered as two separate days with a 4-week gap in-between)


As in most organisations, it is vital to ensure quality standards and values are continually met and that staff are fully equipped with the skills required to perform their job roles as efficiently and effectively as possible.  An area where improvement is always fundamental is customer service.  Patients should always be considered a priority so that every NHS experience and point of contact is considered a positive one.

If your staff could benefit from developing or refreshing their ‘customer service’ skills this programme is ideal.  

An ‘NHS Customer Service Excellence‘ programme has been co-developed by Adapt Limited and the NHS to improve communication in the workplace and patient care.  

Additionally, ILM have approved and verified the content in order to meet the criteria of an ILM Endorsed Programme.

This programme includes an element of assessment that will lead to a Certificate upon successful completion.

Programme Objectives

Improving service excellence today means better service for patients and colleagues tomorrow.

Providing staff with the tools and knowledge they need to do this effectively benefits both staff as individuals and the NHS as a whole.  The key benefits to the NHS Customer Service Excellence Programme are:

  • improved communication between staff and their patients will ensure enquiries are handled correctly, promptly and efficiently
  • applying good customer service techniques can reduce the numbers of problems and complaints experienced by customers which will in turn lead to lower stress levels for staff
  • a more effective workforce and increased job satisfaction
  • that patients, relatives and visitors will feel more relaxed and welcome enabling them to feel more comfortable to approach staff
  • staff will feel more confident in their communication skills as they will be more aware of reading body language and can decide the appropriate language  to use in reply
  • staff will be more competent at asking questions to gain relevant information they need more efficiently
  • staff will recognise when to show courtesy to patients and colleagues allowing them to express themselves
  • staff will be better equipped to convey the right message regarding customer service for the NHS which will raise public profile
  • staff will become more helpful and strive to go the ‘extra mile’ to exceed expectations
  • staff will have the tools to handle more delicate situations by being courteous and empathetic when necessary
  • patients will  feel more satisfied with the service provided leaving them happier with their NHS experience which they will share with others

Programme Content

What does ‘service excellence’ mean to patients and colleagues within the NHS
Patient Focussed Approach
How to represent the NHS in a professional manner
Understanding your patients and colleagues and valuing their opinion
Making your patients and colleagues a priority
Gaining trust
Communicating with patients 
Treating patients with dignity 
The NHS Customer Service Toolkit
Active listening and questioning techniques
Establishing requirements and taking action
Offering empathy, support and reassurance
Managing patient expectations
Coaching for customer service
Going the ‘Extra Mile’
Building rapport
Being proactive
Follow up
Under promise, over deliver
Making customer service healthier for everyone
Gaining feedback from patients and colleagues
Service on the Telephone
Handling Challenging Situations and Complaints
Understanding different personality types/behaviour
Techniques for keeping calm under pressure
Being assertive and taking control
The role of PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Centre)
Delivering bad news
Leaving the patient happy

Comments from previous attendees…

‘Very clear and direct in delivering programme, answering all questions and queries.  Very friendly, helpful and will be back again for other members of my staff.’

                                                                                                                Tracey Bullard

                                                                                                                Practice Manager – Oulten Medical Centre


‘Following the course, I am more aware of my own actions and what to avoid doing.  I am also now equipped to offer advice to colleagues.’


                                                                                                               Karen Collins

                                                                                                                Auxiliary Nurse – James Paget Healthcare                                                                  

Minimum/Maximum Booking Numbers per group

10 -15 delegates