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Complaints Standards Authority Update October 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Health and Social Care: complaints procedures and new training course available

The CSA has been working with representatives from Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) in a range of ways over the last few months.  As well as following up on final amendments to the final few social work complaints procedures, and reviewing the CHPs that have been submitted by Integration Joint Boards, we have also been helping our training and development colleagues to develop a new training course, aimed specifically at supporting staff in HSCPs to investigate complaints.  We delivered this for the first time this month (October 2017), and had some very positive feedback.  Please get in touch with the training team at if this is something your organisation would be interested in.

We also attended an event for advocates and recipients of Self-Directed Support (SDS), where we explained the new social work complaints procedure, and what these changes would mean for them.  The roll out of SDS has been approached in different ways across Scotland, and it became clear at the event that timescales were a significant issue for many recipients, and that this was causing concern and the potential for complaints.


We continue to liaise with the Scottish Government and various boards as we near completion of the CHP compliance checks. The majority of the CHPs submitted have been assessed as only requiring minor amendments in order to be fully compliant with the model and we hope to be able to confirm full compliance across Scotland by the end of the year.

Complaints handling issues identified in casework

We have been capturing details of prevalent or recurring themes in complaint handling that have been identified in cases that the SPSO have considered over recent months. This provides valuable information in relation to an organisation’s compliance with the requirements of the model CHP. It also helps us to understand if there are any particular challenges to good complaints handling being faced across the sectors. We will be sharing the information we identify from this work through sector complaints networks to support learning, improvement and good practice in complaints handling.

We have a range of resources available on our website to support improvement in these areas including the decision-making tool for complaint investigators, an investigation plan template and the Complaints Improvement Framework.

We encourage complaint handlers to contact the CSA with any complaint handling queries they may have at or by phone on 0131 240 8852.

Local Authority

The next local authority complaint handlers’ network will take place on Friday 24 November in Glasgow.


The next college complaint handling advisory group meeting will be held on Thursday 9 November in Stirling.


The next higher education complaints network will meet on Monday 11 December in Glasgow.

The Housing Sector

The date of the next housing complaints handlers’ network has not yet been finalised.  We have, however, established a small housing working group that will work directly with the CSA in respect of developing good practice material specifically for the housing sector.  This group will meet in November and report on its progress to the next full network meeting.

Valuing Complaints website

Finally our Valuing Complaints website provides a centre for best practice in complaints handling. It contains information to help support improvement in public sector complaints handling, including model CHPs for public services in Scotland and good practice tools and training resources.  The CSA is available to provide advice, guidance and support in respect of all aspects of good complaints handling. 

You can contact the CSA team here:  

Updated: October 18, 2017