Improving Complaints Handling: Putting People at the Centre of Services

Effective and proper handling of complaints is vital for organisations seeking to drive improvements and restore positive relationships with people who have felt let down.

Handling complaints badly will erode public confidence and result in a loss of trust of the service.

The context

It is vital that public sector organisations continually look to improve their approach to complaints handling to ensure that users have their voices heard and people are put at the centre of services.

This will also provide an excellent opportunity to understand the levels and quality of services being delivered by your organisation with an opportunity to rectify and deliver change before issues escalate any further. 

The event 

Join us on 25 October 2017 to learn how to improve complaints handling in your organisation. We'll share learning around the latest developments from tools to deliver excellence in complaints handling. This event is primarily for the public sector, but is open to any organisation interested in learning more about improving their complaints handling approach. 

Key issues to be addressed 

  • An overview of complaints handling in Scotland including the latest trends and analysis of complaints received
  • Creating joined-up easily accessible complaints processes 
  • Sharing learning across sectors about what works and what doesn’t in specific contexts
  • Tools and frameworks available for assessing practice and organisational performance


09.15   Registration and Refreshments

09.45   Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

Kate Connor, Director, Kate Connor Consulting

09.50   Session 1: Overview of Complaints Handling in Scotland

  • The latest developments for handling complaints in the public sector in Scotland
  • The work of SPSO to deliver long-lasting improvements
  • Creating joined-up easily accessible complaints processes
  • The main types of complaints that are received: current and future trends and analysis 2017-2018

SPSO confirmed, Speaker TBC

10.50   Questions and Discussion

11.10   Refreshments and Networking

11.30   Session 2: Group Workshop

  • This will be an ‘open’ session—meaning that delegates will determine the focus of the topics for group work. The aim of the session is to consider in more detail specific areas of practice in dealing with complaints and create opportunities for cross-sectoral learning.
  • Themes are likely to include: dealing with difficult behaviour, learning from complaints internally, implementing a new model or framework in your organisation

12.45   Networking Lunch

13.30   Session 3: Complaint Handling Case Studies

  • Sharing learning around what works and what doesn’t in specific contexts
  • Using available tools to benchmark and assess practice
  • Case studies will originate from across Health, Education, Local Government and Housing sectors giving delegates insight into good practice and practical tips to take back to their own organisation

13:30-13:50  Implementing new complaints handling models in the health sector

  • Key changes following revised procedures for complaints handling within the NHS
  • What have we learned so far?
  • Examples of emerging practice and priorities for improvement

Louise Ewing, Chair, NHS Complaints Personnel Association Scotland 

14.30   Questions and Discussion

15.00   Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


 COSLA, Verity House, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635​

25 October 2017

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