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Complaints Standards Authority Update March 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Social work complaints

The new social work complaints handling procedure (CHP) comes into effect from 1 April 2017. It brings social work complaints into line with the new NHS CHP and the approach to handling complaints across the wider public sector in Scotland.  You can read the CHP on the Valuing Complaints website. 

Independent social work advisers will be supporting our complaints handlers in this new area of work. The advisers have now held two staff awareness sessions, providing an overview of social work and some of the key issues.  Future sessions will be about specific areas, such as children and families and adult and older person’s services.

We have also been focusing on the management of complaints by health and social care partnerships. Based on our work with one Integration Joint Board (IJB), we have developed a template CHP to help others develop an appropriate procedure for their IJB.  This is now available on the Valuing Complaints website.  If IJBs or their partnerships have any queries they can contact the CSA for clarification, at

We also published our third bulletin for the social work sector. It provides an update on our work and what the sector can expect as we move towards the implementation date. We have also produced a leaflet about our role in relation to social work complaints which can be read on our website. 

NHS complaints

The Scottish Government’s new NHS CHP comes into effect from 1 April 2017.   Our main focus this month has been on working with NHS Education for Scotland and other partners to deliver a programme of regional events covering ‘Feedback and Complaints and Duty of Candour’. We have also delivered awareness sessions to some primary care providers, and at the Patient Advice and Support Service and NHS Complaints Personnel Association Scotland (NCPAS) regional events in Dundee and Glasgow.

Two health boards (NHS Fife and the Golden Jubilee Hospital) have led on testing the new CHP in order to share lessons across the sector. At an NCPAS meeting earlier this month, we were encouraged to hear that both organisations report early success (including the ability to record and report performance against the new complaints indicators) in testing the new procedure.

You can read the CHP on the Valuing Complaints website.

Complaints Handling Networks

Local Government

The next meeting of the local government complaints handlers network is in April. The network will review the progress of its work on options for a more effective approach to reporting the annual complaints performance of all councils to facilitate benchmarking and improvement.

Further Education

The complaints handling advisory group met in March. Discussions included plans for this year’s annual complaints event in May.  We will provide further information in our next update.


The next meeting of the housing complaints handlers network is in April.

For all previous updates, and for more information about the networks and the CSA, visit our dedicated website or email

Updated: March 24, 2017