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Complaints Standards Authority Update August 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Complaints Handling Procedures (CHP)

Compliance within the NHS

We have now signed off ten Boards as being fully compliant with the NHS Scotland model CHP. We would encourage any Boards who have not yet submitted their revised CHP to the Scottish Government to do so in order for us to be able to confirm compliance across all NHS Boards in Scotland.

Compliance within Social Work Services

Almost all social work services are now fully compliant with the Social Work Model CHP. Five areas have yet to receive formal compliance, though the issues which remain outstanding for these authorities are minimal, and we expect to be able to confirm full compliance soon.

Further information on the social work CHP is available on our website.
Compliance for Integration Joint Boards (IJBs)

We have received CHPs from well over half of all IJBs, and these are showing very high levels of compliance with the IJB template CHP, available on our website.  We have been in touch with most remaining IJBs, who have confirmed that they are making good progress, and we expect receive their CHPs soon.  However, we have yet to hear from a few IJBs - we would encourage them to get in touch as soon as possible. Please contact to share an update on your progress.


Complaints Handling Networks


After a hiatus of around a year, the housing complaints handlers network met on Friday 18 August. This meeting was hosted by the Wheatley Group and attended by a number of different registered social landlords and staff from the SPSO, together with the new Ombudsman, Rosemary Agnew. We provided figures of the housing complaints received and determined by the SPSO for 2016-17, details of the initial findings from the authority survey that the SPSO carried out last year as well as details of the work of the Learning and Improvement unit. Other topics discussed included sector-level statistics for 2016-17 and establishing a small group within the network to develop a guide on learning from complaints for the housing sector. We were pleased to see how engaged and enthusiastic the group were despite the time that had passed since the last meeting and we look forward to attending regular meetings with this group in the future.

Local government

On 22 August, the local government sub-group visited New College Lanarkshire for a demonstration of the complaints handling tool that has been developed by the college for the further education sector. This tool has been developed to record complaints in line with the requirements of the model CHP as well as generate reports that meet the quarterly and annual reporting requirements as set by the model CHP. As part of the demonstration, the group were able to test the tool and trial various tasks on the system. The group will feed back on the tool and software at the next local government network meeting in Edinburgh on Friday 15 September.


The next meeting of the Complaints Handling Advisory Group will take place on Thursday 14 September.


The university complaints handlers network met in Edinburgh on Friday 25 August. In our update to the group, we provided figures for university cases that were received and determined by the SPSO in 2016-17, details on the changes to the way we now present our recommendations and we also reported on the feedback that was provided by the sector and other sectors through the authority survey..

The Social Work Complaints Group

We also attended the recent meeting of Social Work Scotland’s Complaints Sub-group.  We reviewed progress with the implementation of social work and integration joint board complaints handling procedures. We also discussed the recent work of the Learning and Improvement Unit, including changes to the way our recommendations are being presented.  Ideas for the future of this group were discussed, along with options for the development of a formal complaints handlers network for social work or for integrated health and social care services.  These ideas will be discussed in more detail over the coming months, and we look forward to working with this group in future.

For more information about the networks, contact

Updated: August 30, 2017