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Fifteen-minute consultation: Supporting colleagues through a serious incident or complaint
  1. Martin Ward Platt
  1. Newcastle Neonatal Service,, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Ward Platt, Newcastle Neonatal Service, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; m.p.ward-platt{at}


Being involved in a complaint or serious incident can be a huge stress for a doctor, whether a trainee or consultant. When affected, it is important to be able to look for the support of a colleague or a more senior person, and just as importantly, those not directly involved need to know what to do to provide support. In this piece I consider what ‘support’ really means, I provide some tips on what to do and what not to do, and I consider how incidents and complaints can need different approaches.

  • multidisciplinary team-care
  • paediatric practice

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.