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Important - Changes in law affecting complaints

Monday, April 3, 2017


As of the 1st of April, the law on how complaints relating to NHS services are handled is changing. This extends to include many community pharmacy services, such as dispensing, minor ailments and smoking cessation to name but a few. In preparation for this change, CPS have produced a number of materials which will support you with understanding what is required, training staff and making the day-to-day administration of this as straightforward as possible for your teams.

In essence, the new procedure aims to standardise the experience when making a complaint, and to encourage us to see complaints as a valuable opportunity to improve practice where possible. It also places requirements on contractors to submit data on complaints received to their Health Board at quarterly intervals, which will be reliant on capturing more information from the complainant than has previously been asked for. By using our materials, you can be sure that you are legally complaint with the new regulations.

The documents provided can be split into two categories:

  1. Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP), Public-facing CHP and Self-assessment
    These documents will be used for staff training and providing information to the general public. The self-assessment may be asked for by Boards as a means to show that contractors are “ready to go” with the new arrangements. However, several Boards have indicated that they will use a survey for this purpose and as such this may never be required.

  2. Supporting Documents
    These will support contractors in the day-to-day administration of the new complaints procedures. Where the Regulations or Directions give specifications for a given correspondence (e.g. a letter to be sent to a complainant), a draft has been provided which will comply with these. The complaints log spreadsheet is intended to make collating the quarterly returns data as easy as possible for contractors, asking for minimal input and generating the information needed for Health Board submissions.

If you have any questions, please contact Adam, Policy and Development Pharmacist 

Downloadable support materials:

Complaints Handling Procedure
Public Facing Complaints Handling Procedure
Self Assessment of Compliance
Acknowledgement of Complaint
Complaints Logbook
Investigation Extension Letter
Investigation Report Covering Letter
Record of Complaint
Report of Investigation into Complaint
Statements for Quarterly and Annual Reporting Periods