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Complaints Standards Authority Update August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Complaints Standards Authority Update August 2016

Local government

Thank you to those councils that have already prepared and submitted their annual complaints reports. The reports of the 32 councils will be collated and analysed by the Improvement Service.  We will soon be meeting with the chair of the local government complaints handlers’ network and the Improvement Service to agree on the approach to this work, and the preparation of the sector’s annual complaints performance report.  We would request that any council that has not already done so sends a copy of their annual complaints report to us as soon as possible, to Details of the next complaints handlers’ network meeting will be circulated when available.

Social work complaints

Preparations for our extended role in relation to social work complaints (which will apply to complaints made to local authorities on or after 1 April 2017) are progressing well. We are working closely with key stakeholders, including the Scottish Government, local authorities (including social work professionals), third sector organisations, advocacy groups and other key organisations to develop the new model CHP for social work complaints. We are also preparing for our new role in making decisions on the professional judgement exercised on behalf of the local authority.

Following the project steering group’s first meeting in July, we set up a working group to help us develop the new social work CHP. We have since had our initial meeting with the working group.  Members of the group are now developing parts of the new procedure in advance of the next steering group meeting, due to be held in late September.  The steering group will have oversight of the working group’s progress and will provide high level input and feedback on our preparations for our extended role.

We have also carried out fact finding visits in recent weeks and will attend scheduled Complaints Review Committees to build upon our existing knowledge of the typical issues raised in social work complaints. As this is an extension of our existing role, we have also been able to review internal SPSO social work cases to help ensure that we carry out the appropriate due diligence and are well prepared for this role.

NHS complaints procedure

Work on preparing the new NHS model CHP is moving to the next stage. We will work with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to develop a programme of activities to support NHS organisations as we move towards implementation.  Options include, but are not limited to, updating the existing NHS e-learning modules to take account of the revised procedure, developing and delivering podcasts and webinars, regional workshops and producing awareness-raising materials including leaflets and factsheets.

We are also working with specific NHS bodies to consider how best to trial parts of the CHP in advance of the procedure being implemented across NHS Scotland from April 2017.

For all previous updates, and for more information about CHPs, visit our dedicated website

SPSO Training Events

Upcoming courses (all based in central Edinburgh)

Complaint investigation skills (stage 2 of the model CHP): 1-day open course, Tuesday 29 November

Managing Difficult Behaviour: Wednesday 28 September

These are open to staff from all sectors under the SPSO’s jurisdiction. Full course details are available on the SPSO Training Unit website

For general information, see our flyer: SPSO Training 2016 (PDF, 40KB)

For more information, and to book spaces, please contact

Updated: March 8, 2017