Carolyn is very proud of the positive feedback she and C&C Empathy Training receives.
Please look through some of these testimonials and see for yourself. For more detailed feedback, please see the feedback page.

"The day was amazing. What I learnt that day from Carolyn is invaluable to my role as PALS Officer for a NHS Trust. It gave me the opportunity to work with colleagues from other departments and discuss relevant issues and how they affect us. When listening to people we should show an interest, not be distracted and ask relevant questions being mindful not to interrupt. It also gave us the opportunity to think how we should and would like to deal with sometimes difficult situations in the future in an empathic nature. Carolyn's determination is outstanding and she demonstrates that being determined and staying strong, you can achieve your goals. Sometimes during some very traumatic times, when you feel like giving up you must stay calm, think why you are doing what you are and believe in yourself."

Gary Coles, PALS Officer, NHFT

"I would highly recommend this course to anyone working in the Complaints sector. The information conveyed on the day was invaluable to gaining a deeper understanding of the role of empathy in dealing with complaints. It also helped elicit a desire to connect more fully with those offering feedback on the service, and really understand their story"

Maddie Bettess, Complaints Manager, Barchester Healthcare

"I am delighted to recommend Carolyn Cleveland and the work that she is leading to support ​ ​a greater understanding and integration of empathy across health and social care. Carolyn has significant expertise in humanistic psychology and uses this along with personal experiences, to help those working across care services to reflect on their ways of working and how they can enhance the use of empathy in practice. Such opportunities offer significant benefits to care delivery but also help staff strengthen their relationships, build personal resilience and improve wellbeing.'

Dr Theresa Shaw, Chief Executive, Foundation of Nursing Studies

"As a Practice Manager I am expected to know how to deal with difficult conversations, I have never previously received any 'formal' training in complaints handling. I attended this training day during a difficult time in my own life and it is fair to say I have never felt so many emotions during a training event. Carolyn has managed to turn a personal tragedy into something that is wonderfully beneficial for others. Her calmness when taking you through the day, makes you feel like you are receiving 'one-to-one' training as she takes you through the sequence of events, caring and listening to what each of the attendee's have to say. Carolyn genuinely cares about getting this message out to everyone. For me it is, without question, the very best of training days and all staff that have contact with patients (in whatever capacity) should receive it. I now deal with those difficult conversations in a totally different manner to how I did before and have engaged Carolyn's services to train my entire team in house. I am thankful to Carolyn for sharing her story."

Cheryl Herbert, Practice Manager, Beech Tree Medical Practice.

"I can't thank you enough for the day, it had so much impact and I really enjoyed it. The session felt like a gift. My colleague and I talked at length the following day about how much we enjoyed it and the practical application of your session."

Thomas Kavanagh, OD Advisor, Talent & Organisational Development, Development and Engagement, Big Lottery Fund

"Throughout a twenty year career in handling difficult conversations I have never felt as inspired as I did hearing Carolyn speak. Her ability to create an environment where we can fully understand the power of empathy and its effects on both us and our service users is both exceptional and important in equal measure. The perspective, understanding and skills I have gained from this training will be used to enhance our organisational approach to handling difficult conversations and improve how we respond to the emotional needs of our users. Carolyn's training combines significant professional and academic expertise with a truly delightful personality set against the backdrop of heart breaking tragedy. I feel confident in saying that we can all learn something deeply important from her both professionally and personally. I am incredibly grateful to have crossed her path."

Keir Gill, Senior Manager, Compliance and Improvement. Arts Council England.

"Carolyn is one of those rare people who has managed to turn the experience of personal tragedy into something truly beneficial to others. She has things to say that we should all be listening to but sometimes find hard to hear. She skilfully engages any audience, from a single individual to a large conference, not just providing inspiration, but with her passion, galvanising it into motivation, enabling and supporting health professionals to improve their practice. As a trained counsellor she brings a detached rigour to discussions, with an ability to focus on key issues, whilst acknowledging the breadth of all the complications that need to be considered. She is a change maker and challenger but wherever she goes, her infectious smile and positive approach, quite simply help people."

Christopher Fincken, Chair, of the UK Council of the Caldicott Guardians.

“I’ve got to say – I think it’s the best training I’ve ever been to. Myself and colleague both mentioned the day again during a team meeting yesterday and urged everyone and anyone to take part if the opportunity arises again for our staff. It was an amazing experience and I would just like to say a huge thank you for being so brave, open and honest. I truly believe if more people within the NHS spent the day with you, it would fix a huge amount of the complaints and concerns we receive regularly. Recently I was dealing with a case where the patient was clearly unhappy and frustrated. Previously I may have taken offence at their accusation and my empathy would have started to dwindle but after your course, I have been able to understand more and make inroads to reach a resolution; it helped greatly. Absolutely everyone would benefit from this training.”

PALS Officer, Kettering General Hospital.

"Carolyn's training day was just what I needed to revitalise my empathy bank and made me realise just how important the customer experience team is. I will now, following this training, try and get Virgin Care to replace the term 'complainant'."

Jane Saunders. Customer Experience Support Officer, Virgin Care Experience Team

“C&C Empathy Training have devised and developed an amazing empathy training course which, in my view, should be made mandatory for all NHS professionals. Adopting empathy in our daily routine management of patients significantly enhances the quality of care provision, improves patient experience and reduces complaints & litigations. Moreover, it also has a positive impact on the emotional well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals alike. I believe this to be true at both individual and organisational levels.”

Dr Telal Mudawi, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. The Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman, Manchester Office, UK.

“Carolyn presented at the Health Education England: East Midlands Nurse Leadership summit in February 2015 and was an inspiration for all nurses present and reminded us of our unique role and responsibilities to our patients and their significant others.”

Ruth Auton, Health Education England.

“The training day with C&C Empathy Training was so thought provoking and I would love to be able to bring them into my organisation. The day has given me inspiration to change my patient experience training on induction.”

Patient Experience and Complaints Team Manager.

“When Carolyn was talking about her personal story, there was pin drop silence at the Trust conference. Our staff were simply stunned.”

Dr Umesh Prabhu, Medical Director, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

“I would like to say how valuable I think this training is. Working in complaints can be so difficult and dealing with so many complaints I sometimes think the staff can become almost immune to feeling empathy towards complainants. Your journey reminds the complaints staff of what it's all about, what good complaints handling should look like and how this can impact on the 'complaints journey' for all the parties involved. I got far more out of the training than I ever anticipated.”

Patient Experience and Complaints Manager, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG.

“What was fascinating about Carolyn’s story is that she is not bitter or vitriolic. She was calm, measured and even philosophical.”

Jenni Middleton, Editor, Nursing Times.

“Carolyn is a dedicated, passionate and highly competent professional who never the less maintains a clear empathy with the issues and needs of people made vulnerable by their circumstances. An impassioned and motivational public speaker and a courageous advocate of the rights of individuals I have no hesitation in providing the highest recommendation of Carolyn both personally and professionally.”

Paul Standbrook, CEO at CVS St Albans.

“I would like to commend Carolyn on her presentation. It has made a lasting impression upon me professionally and personally.”

Claire Higgins, Professional Practice, Education and Training Team, Northampton Health Foundation Trust.