Changes to the complaints process for people using our national health and social care services on the Isle of Man have been approved by Tynwald.
The new regulations will be effective from 31 October and will modernise the current process and ensure it is fit for purpose, and fair for all.
The regulations will introduce a standardised complaints process for all health and social care services provided by, and on behalf of, Manx Care.
As well as extending the timeframe for how long after an issue a complaint can be made, the new Regulations also set out at what intervals complainants can expect updates. They also introduce statutory timescales by which investigations must be completed and a final response sent by.
All service providers will need to make sure that their complaints processes are updated to match those outlined in the regulations approved today, and prepare to implement them for the October deadline.
A new Health and Social Care Ombudsman Body will now be established to review unresolved complaints, to also begin by the 31 October. The Appointments Commission is the independent body tasked with recruiting the members of the new Health and Social Care Ombudsman Body.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Lawrie Hooper MHK, said:
‘The changes approved today will bring in much needed improvements to the way complaints are dealt with across all of our health and social care services. They will improve accessibility and provide a much more robust process to ensure complaints are investigated fully and are resolved in a timely manner. We hope that this will help improve service levels across health and social care by fostering and supporting a culture of learning and improvement.’
CEO of Manx Care, Teresa Cope, said:
‘The approval of this new procedure is a step in the right direction, which will help to streamline the process for all those who need to use it. The Manx Care Advice and Liaison Service (MCALS) are able to provide advice and guidance regarding Manx Care’s services, but their function is not to manage complaints - this new way of dealing with complaints will ensure a dedicated and consistent system.’
The Department is in the process of developing guidance for the public and service providers on how this new complaints process will work in practice.