The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients’ experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care. The Act raises the status and focus of patient rights and, together with supporting legislation, provides for the encouragement of feedback, comment, concerns and complaints on health care services and also clarifies the responsibilities of relevant NHS bodies and their health service providers in Scotland. Important provisions within the legislation which impact on this guidance are:
• Health service providers and relevant NHS bodies now have the same 20 day period to investigate and respond to complaints
• The establishment of the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS)
• The requirement on the relevant NHS bodies to appoint a Feedback and Complaints Manager and a Feedback and Complaints Officer
• The requirement on health service providers to appoint a Feedback and Complaints Officer
• The requirement for quarterly monitoring of complaints and annual publication of information about feedback, comments, concerns and complaints
• The requirement to demonstrate what learning and improvement has taken place as a result of feedback, comments, concerns and complaints
The aim of the guidance is to assist the relevant NHS bodies and their health service providers in handling and responding to feedback, comments, concerns and complaints raised in relation to health care in accordance with the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011. This will help to support the development of a culture across the whole of the NHS in Scotland that actively encourages and welcomes feedback, comments, concerns and complaints. A culture that values all forms of feedback whether this is good or bad in order to learn from patients’, carers and service users experiences.