ISCAS and Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) have signed an updated agreement to share appropriate information for reasons of public interest, in order to ensure high standards of quality and safety of health care.
The new agreement with HIS is based on the Scottish Information Sharing Toolkit and recognises that the exchange of information is helpful for HIS to gain intelligence about independent healthcare in Scotland. The HIS complaints handling procedure does look at addressing individual complaints about independent healthcare services in Scotland. However, as part of their approach to ‘get it right first time’, HIS encourages local resolution and also signposts to ISCAS:
“Complainants will be encouraged in the first instance to try and resolve the relevant issue(s) through the service/provider’s own complaints procedure. We will also encourage complainants to use the Independent Healthcare Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) complaints processes..”
The HIS procedure has been developed using the model complaints handling procedure developed by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). People who complain about independent healthcare services in Scotland do not have a pathway to SPSO since they have access to HIS as the regulator. HIS do provide a post-investigation review for those who disagree with the complaint investigation outcome on the basis that:
- new evidence is available that was not or could not reasonably have been available to the complainant or service/provider during the course of the investigation
- HIS made their outcome decision based on important evidence that was inaccurate and the complainant or service/provider can demonstrate this, using readily available information, or
- HIS have incorrectly interpreted the evidence before them.
Our information-sharing agreement with HIS is similar to the arrangement that ISCAS has with the regulator in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). These agreements and our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wales can be found in the publications area of our website.