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Complaints Standards Authority Update – December 2013

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Model CHP for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities in Scotland

We have received confirmation of intention to implement the model complaints handling procedure (CHP) from almost all organisations in this sector as they work towards the deadline of 31 March 2014.  We continue to receive contacts from a range of bodies in relation to implementation and our CSA team are happy to provide support and advice in the lead up to implementation in the new year.

Local government

As reported in last month’s update we are undertaking a sample assessment of the accessibility of local authority CHPs and the quarterly publication of outcomes, trends and actions taken in line with CHP requirements. Given that we are approaching the end of quarter 3, we are keen to assess good practice in relation to local authorities’ monitoring and reporting of complaints outcomes and learning from complaints.  The outputs of our review and examples of best practice will be discussed with the local authority complaints handlers network at its next meeting.

The CHP requires local authorities to report outcomes, trends and actions taken on the complaints they have received. We expect this to contain details and information on a broad range of complaints received, rather than simply focused on a small number of case studies. What we are seeking is comparable, consistent and transferable learning on complaints which will help to focus on areas of improvement for the sector as a whole.  We are keen to help the sector build on this and improve the mechanisms for sharing information on complaints across the sector.


We have completed our assessment across a random sample of registered social landlords (RSLs) in Scotland and have been greatly encouraged by the results.  Assessment focused on compliance with the requirements of the model CHP, including the definition of a complaint, accessibility to the CHP via website and leaflets, timescales, stages and signposting to the SPSO.  The outcomes of the assessment are positive with the vast majority compliant, subject to minor amendments which have been or are now being addressed. We are awaiting further information from these RSLs on their recording, reporting, learning and publicising of complaints, with evidence that they are meeting the reporting requirements of the CHP. We will report the outcomes of this assessment to the Scottish Housing Regulator.


In partnership with NHS Education for Scotland we are continuing to develop and roll out further training and awareness for NHS staff, recently delivering a number of training sessions for GP practice managers.

The Ombudsman completed a series of complaints and governance masterclasses for Executive and Non-Executive NHS board members, with the final session delivered in December in Edinburgh. As previously reported, the focus of the sessions was on the importance of complaints in good governance and their value as indicators of performance, service quality and risk, particularly for health boards in the light of the findings of the Francis report.

A video recording of this session will shortly be available on the NHS Education Scotland website.

Updated: March 8, 2017