New NHS Complaints Processes from 1st April 2017

The Scottish Government have introduced a new enhanced NHS Complaints procedure that will come into force from April 1st 2017. The procedure introduces:

  • a new early resolution process, for simple complaints that can be resolved in five working days

  • an increased level of reporting on how actions and learning from complaints leads to improvements within the practice

  • increased reporting on staff training and its effects on processes

  • increased level of data collection

The new requirements are detailed in the Scottish Government Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) document, and also come from the requirements of the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011, and its associated regulations and directions. Practices can amend the Scottish Government's CHP in order to produce their own, and demonstrate through completion of a self-assessment form that it meets the requirements of the Government policy. The Scottish Government have also produced a Public Facing CHP that practices will give to anyone who asks about their complaints procedure. This document can only be amended in order to insert the practice's name and contact details.

We have produced a number of documents, some of which you have already been sent, to assist you with these amendments,which you will find at the bottom of the page.

  • Letters from Lorna Kelly, Head of Primary Care Support & Development containing details of the revised complaints procedures

  • A copy of a suggested Complaints Handling Procedure for Optometric Practices

  • A completed self-assessment form, based on the suggested Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP). If you are happy to adopt the suggested CHP, than this self assessment meets the requirements of the new regulations.

  •  Three versions of the Public Facing Complaints Handling Procedure:

  1. The official version from the Scottish Government

  2. Versions of the Government document created by James Johnstone, Practice Manager at the Turret Medical Practice in Kirkintilloch, with clearly marked fields for the practice to insert its name and contact details

    1. A tri-fold practice leaflet

    2. A large format practice leaflet.

The new policies also introduce an increased level of data collection, and to let you see what this will look like we have attached a copy of a draft version of the new quarterly complaints survey form.

We will not be asking for this increased level of reporting until the end of July, but in order that you will be able to supply it at that time we ask that you begin to collect the new levels of information from April 1st 2017. To assist with this we have attached two versions of a data collection form, one in Word the other in Excel. 

We have also attached a copy of a presentation delivered to a GP Practice Managers meeting on March 22nd, looking at these changes. Slides 11 to 20 deal with the data collection, and if you look at the presentation in "Notes View" you will be able to see the notes attached to each slide.

Lastly please find copies of DL (2017) 6, "The Patient Rights (Complaints Procedure and Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016, and the Patient Rights (Feedback, Comments, Concerns and Complaints) (Scotland) Directions 2017" along with a copy of "The Patient Rights (Feedback, Comments, Concerns and Complaints) (Scotland) Directions 2017" which outline the legal position for the changes in the regulations.