New complaints procedure in Scotland

A NEW complaint handling procedure for the NHS in Scotland comes into effect from 1 April 2017.

The new NHS Scotland Model Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) is intended to be used by all NHS service providers, including healthcare professionals such as GPs, dentists, opticians, pharmacists, as well as other contractors such as cleaning or catering providers. The model CHP is designed as templates for NHS bodies and primary care service providers to adapt and adopt. There is also an implementation guide available, which sets out in detail how Boards and their primary care service providers should prepare for implementation.

The revised procedure is intended to support a consistent person-centered approach to complaints handling across NHS Scotland, and bring the NHS into line with other public service sectors by introducing a distinct, five working day stage for early, local resolution ahead of the 20 working day stage for complaint investigations.

The model CHP has been structured to provide as much flexibility as possible, while still providing the required level of standardisation across NHS service providers. Details about how to make a complaint must be widely publicised, simple and clear, and made available in all areas of service provision.

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