We have laid our Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2019-20 before the Scottish Parliament.
2019-20 highlights include:
- 4,332 complaints received and 4,099 complaints determined
- 1,038 Scottish Welfare Fund review applications received, 29% up on last year
- 58% uphold rate with 1,038 recommendations made for learning and improvement
- publication of updated Model Complaints Handling Procedures
- our Complaints Improvement Conference
- introduction of the Support and Intervention Policy
- significant progress made in preparing for the launch of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer.
Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, said:
"The final few weeks of the operating year were challenging for everyone due to COVID-19 and it would be all too easy to let those weeks eclipse our achievements and challenges for the majority of the year. The report highlights these important achievements. I am pleased to report that we continue to maintain a consistently high level and quality of output, despite the rising caseloads for both complaints and Scottish Welfare Fund review applications.
Looking ahead, we are preparing for the introduction of my new role as Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for the NHS in Scotland from 1 April 2021.
And of course we recognise that the COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing restrictions will impact on all areas of our business, for years to come, not just now. It is important for us not only to cope with service delivery during this situation but also to learn for the future in terms of how we investigate, how we work differently and how we keep our services accessible.
Underpinning all of this will be our commitment to our values of people- centred, fair, independent and learning and improvement."