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Complaints Standards Authority Update – February 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Local authority complaints handling procedures (CHPs)
We are pleased to report that most local authorities have either implemented, or are nearing the point of implementation of, the model CHP with many rolling out full programmes of staff training ahead of implementation. We have received a majority of draft CHPs from those local authorities required to provide these by 30 January 2013 and will shortly respond with our assessment of compliance. Local authorities who have still to provide these drafts should do so soon.

Local authority complaints performance indicators
The local authority complaints handling network met on 25 January 2013. The primary focus was on monitoring and reporting complaints performance including developing performance indicators. The network agreed to further develop the detail of the SPSO indicators, previously outlined in the CHP Guide to Implementation, which will be a requirement for local authorities to report against from 2013/14. Further detail on these indicators has been circulated to the network for comment ahead of publication by the end of March 2013, although the list of indicators remains similar to those previously published.

Please contact the CSA (csa@spso.org.uk) if you would like to contribute to the local authority complaints handling network’s discussions on the performance indicators

NHS e-learning
We are currently developing, with NHS Education Scotland (NES), a set of e-learning modules for NHS staff to provide training and guidance on feedback, comments, concerns and complaints as outlined in the NHS Can I Help You guidance published in 2012. This is part of a two-year project to develop wider education and training across all levels of the NHS to help improve the handling of, and learning from, feedback, comments, concerns and complaints.

The modules will be piloted shortly and will be available in the coming months.

Further and higher education
Following publication of the model CHPs for further and higher education in December 2012 we are planning further engagement with both sectors. We are planning a stakeholder event for universities in March/April for representatives to discuss the requirements of the HE model CHP and discuss issues and challenges around implementation.

For colleges we have planned further engagement with Scotland’s Colleges following an event with college representatives in November 2012. This will aim to develop the model CHP into a single CHP to be adopted in its entirety by the sector.

Further details will be provided when available, including through the Valuing Complaints forum (see www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk/forum)

We are, of course, happy to provide specific advice or support to colleges and universities in relation to their implementation of the CHP by August 2013. Please address any questions about the model CHP, or the requirement to implement, to the CSA at csa@spso.org.uk

Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, agencies, NDPBs and associated bodies
We are currently developing the model CHP for this sector which will include all agencies, NDPBs and associated bodies under the SPSO’s jurisdiction, as well as the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government departments. This will be available in the coming months along with details of the requirement to implement in 2013/14. The CHP will be broadly in line with those developed for other sectors so far. Any enquiries relating to this CHP should be directed to csa@spso.org.uk.

Training and Valuing Complaints forum
Our e-learning training modules on frontline resolution are available at www.spsotraining.org.uk. These have been developed to help with the introduction of the model CHPs for each sector. The training is available to all public sector staff and is currently free.

We would also encourage all complaints handlers to log on and join the discussions on the online complaints handling forum at www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk/forum. If you have any questions on implementation, put them up on the forum and you will get a response from the CSA team or from other complaints handlers.

Fair and Equal: How does the Equality Act 2010 affect complaints handling in Scotland?
As we have highlighted in previous updates, we have published an article on our Valuing Complaints website which explains that for people working in the public sector, including in complaints handling, there are many implications of the Equality Act.

We would encourage you to read this article which can be found here. We would ask anyone working in complaints handling in the public sector in Scotland who has already begun to work on equality and complaints handling, developed good practice policies and procedures or indeed is struggling with a particular area of the Equality Act, to provide comments on the article or ask questions through the Valuing Complaints forum or by contacting the CSA team.

Updated: March 8, 2017