ISCAS 2021-22 Annual Report Launch

The ISCAS 2021-22 Annual Report was launched on the 5th September 2022. Baroness Fiona Hodgson CBE, Independent Chair of the ISCAS Governance Advisory Board introduces the Annual Report and Sally Taber, ISCAS Director outlines the ongoing work with the Department of Health to take forward Recommendation 6a and 6b of the Paterson enquiry.

Last year it was apparent that in order to remain an Appropriate Body, ISCAS needed to change its status, and accordingly, we have merged it into CEDR. It now forms a fully owned but independently operated part of that charity. The Annual Report also outlines the ongoing work with the Patients Association and the work we did together to update the ISCAS Code and the accompanying training tool, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the Patients Guide. The facts and figures show that ‘Consultant/Medical Care’ continues to be the largest head of complaint, followed by ‘Complaints Handling’. The Annual Report highlights that ISCAS is looking at providing training for subscribers in conjunction with the Patients Association with an aim to improve Complaints Handling.

The system regulators across the UK recognise ISCAS as an Appropriate Body for private patient complaint escalation. During 2021/22 ISCAS has maintained Information Sharing Agreements with the Care Quality Commission (CQC – England), Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and Health Improvement Scotland (HIS). The Regulatory and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) – Northern Ireland was signed in April 2021 and regular contact has been maintained. ISCAS also maintains good engagement with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and the Welsh Ombudsman as well as Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) and Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).

ISCAS was pleased to welcome 22 new subscribers in 2021/22, however we disappointingly report that only one of these was a NHS PPU.  Whilst ISCAS is pleased to see more NHS PPUs subscribing to ISCAS, the pace of expansion is slow and ISCAS continues to receive complaints from private patients treated in the NHS who have no access to an Appropriate Body for complaint escalation. This has been raised with the CQC, The Department of Health, the PHSO and the Paterson Inquiry. A plan of action has been proposed.