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Complaints Standards Authority Update April 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stakeholder engagement

We provided assistance to the Scottish Government to develop guidance for NHS service providers on the annual reporting of their complaints handling performance. We continue to work with the NHS Scotland partners to review the complaint category codes used to record complaints.

This month we welcomed a visitor from the Energy and Water Ombudsman based in New South Wales, Australia. We provided an overview of the role and functions of the CSA including our internal casework processes and our engagement with external stakeholders. Specifically we updated on good practice through model complaints handling, the importance of managing and measuring complaints handling performance, learning from complaints to improve service delivery and the value that is added across Scotland through the sector specific complaints handling networks. We also shared information on the wide range of best practice tools and resources, freely available to help organisations to handle, and maximise the learning from, complaints.  These are available on our dedicated Valuing Complaints website.

The Independent National Whistleblowing Officer

We have made significant progress in our work to develop Whistleblowing Standards for the NHS in Scotland. At the end of March we hosted the second meeting of the Whistleblowing Standards Steering Group., The group reviewed the draft Principles and Standards, and provided helpful comments on the content and specific elements of our proposals. We used this feedback to further update the draft Principles and Standards, before we move towards a public consultation on our progress to date.

We have also been working closely with the Scottish Government as they develop draft legislation in respect of the role of the new Independent National Whistleblowing Officer. We expect the SPSO consultation on whistleblowing Principles and Standards to run in parallel with the Scottish Government’s consultation on the draft legislation. We will update on our consultation proposals in a future update.


Colleges – The Complaints Handling Advisory Group met on 16 April 2018 in Stirling.

Delegates discussed plans for the further education annual complaints event. It was agreed that this should be held later in the year; most probably in October. We provided an update to the group on SPSO news, together with year-to-date further education complaints performance information and statistics. Members of the group also engaged in open discussion of recent complaint handling challenges they have faced and shared ideas around good practice to address these.

Universities – this group will meet on 25 April 2018 in Edinburgh.

Local Authority – this group will meet on 22 June 2018 in Glasgow

Housing – this group will meet on 26 April 2018 in Glasgow.

For further information on this update, or to request advice, guidance or support in respect of complaints handling, The Complaints Standards Authority can be contacted via email.

Updated: April 25, 2018