Health staff are to get lessons in how to communicate with the public when a trainer comes to Shetland next month, it was announced at a meeting of Shetland NHS Board on Tuesday.
This follows a number of complaints about the health service, either in hospital or in the community, in which staff attitude was a common theme.
In the year 2008-9 there were 16 complaints involving staff attitude, six about dental care and waiting times, two about communication, two about the admission or treatment of vulnerable elderly patients, two about the standard of care and two about discharge procedure.
The board felt that improved communication skills would be linked to patients’ acceptance of their treatment.
NHS Shetland chief executive Sandra Laurenson pointed out that not all complaints are upheld, and that independent GP practices are not obliged to give the board details of complaints against them.
Board member Joe Irvine said complaints should be encouraged, and the board agreed it was important to know what was causing dissatisfaction.