During the last month we attended an internal complaints network meeting at a local authority. They wish to focus more on quality assurance and to support this approach we provided the network group with detailed information around our Complaints Improvement Framework and our Complaints Process Quality Assurance tool and how these tools can be used to assess the standard of different areas of complaints handling arrangements to drive up quality in complaint handling and management. The Improvement Framework can be applied holistically or to a specific service area and can be used as an annual snapshot of an organisation’s performance or to assess performance on an ongoing basis. Further complaints handling resources can be found on our website.
We welcomed representatives from a new body under our jurisdiction to highlight the support, guidance, tools and resources we can provide them with to support and improve their complaints handling performance. We provided details of the courses run by our training unit and explained our process when considering complaints that may fall under our jurisdiction in their particular subject area.
We also welcomed a visit from another organisation to discuss revisions to their complaints handling procedure and provide clarification on what information must be covered in line with the relevant model CHP.
We take this opportunity to remind organisations under our jurisdiction that the core requirements of the model CHP must not be amended or removed. Where an organisation amends its CHP in respect of local processes and / or structures the CSA would be happy to carry out a further compliance assessment to ensure that it remains compliant with the relevant model CHP.
The Independent National Whistleblowing Officer
We have been making final amendments to the draft National Whistleblowing Standards, as we prepare for consultation on this in September. We will be posting links to the draft Standards and the consultation documents on the SPSO website in early September, so keep a look out for these if you have an interest in that area.
We have been consulting with other authorities and NHS partners to set out our expectations and aspirations for the role of the INWO and the Standards, and have had very positive reception to these proposals. In particular we met with representatives from primary care representatives, as the proposal is to include these service providers within the remit of the INWO.
We also met with representatives of the National Guardians Office in London, to hear about the work they have been doing south of the border, and to identify any good practice and learning we can take forward in our work. We will ensure that the good links we have established are maintained as we progress with our work, to ensure both approaches are as effective as possible.
Colleges – this group will meet next on Wednesday 12 September in Stirling
Local Government – this group will meet next on Friday 7 September in Edinburgh
Universities – this group will meet next on Wednesday 22 August in Dundee
Housing – the date of the next housing network has not been set.