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ANNUAL REPORT 2013 Adjudicating Complaints for the Independent Healthcare Sector


Introduction


The Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) operates the well-established, and recently revised, independent healthcare sector‘s Complaints Code of Practice (Code) and provides independent adjudication for complaints made against ISCAS members. The 2013 Code continues to focus on local resolution, first directly with the service provider (stage 1) and then at a corporate level (stage 2). The Code sets out the standards that ISCAS members agree to meet when handling complaints about their services. Each year ISCAS sees the vast majority of complaints amongst its members are being resolved at either stage 1 or stage 2.


Adjudication with ISCAS is the stage 3 independent review process for complaints that an ISCAS member has not been able to resolve at stages 1 and 2. It is the only complaints Code offering this level of independence operating in the independent healthcare sector.


The healthcare sector is facing increased regulation from system regulators such as the Care Quality Commission and scrutiny of quality following both the Francis Report, the Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions, conducted by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, and also the Winterbourne View report. Fundamental to the drive for quality is ensuring that the best procedures are in place for managing disputes.


ISCAS is already recognised by major regulators, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA). CQC and HIW even signpost complainants to the service where appropriate.


Over the year ISCAS saw a small increase in membership from 68 organisations to 71. Of note many organisations have a large number of hospital services in their corporate membership of ISCAS, for example the largest has 68 hospitals.


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