Week 4 – Acknowledge and Apologise or Express Regret

Week 4 – Acknowledge and Apologise or Express Regret

As we continue our journey in understanding the Open Disclosure process, we now focus on the need to acknowledge and apologise or express regret when things go wrong. This is not about saying someone is at fault but instead focusses on our response to the consumer.

When something has gone wrong and as soon as reasonably practicable we should:

  • Communicate promptly with consumers and others
  • Acknowledge the concerns of the consumer
  • Provide a sincere and unprompted apology or expression of regret such as a ‘I am sorry’, for the harm or grievance caused.
  • Follow up with the consumer to ensure they understand the acknowledgement or expression of regret.
  • Provide information about what has happened in a way that can be understood. This may include:
    • involving family members or others, as per the wishes of the consumer
    • helping to link the consumer with a formal advocate
    • involving a cultural or community group/leader to which the consumer belongs
    • using appropriate translation services; or
    • using other assistance services where communication or hearing support is needed
    • providing a comfortable and appropriate environment for the discussion.

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