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On 2 July 2014, David Davis presented the Health Service Commissioner for England (Complaint Handling) Bill, having come 19th in the Private Members’ Bill ballot.

The Bill received its Commons Second Reading on 17 October 2014, its Committee stage on 15 January 2015, and its Report Stage and Third Reading on 27 February 2015. In the House of Lords, the Bill received its First Reading on 2 March 2015, Second Reading on 13 March, Committee Stage on 19 March and Third Reading on 25 March 2015. The Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament on 26 March 2015.

The Act has two distinct objectives that together seek to improve the handling of complaints by the Health Service Commissioner for England. The Act amends Section 14 of the Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 as follows:

  1. Where the Commissioner has not concluded an investigation before the end of the 12 month period beginning with the date the complaint was received, the Commissioners must send a statement explaining the reason for the delay to the person who made the complaint
  2. The Commission must lay before Parliament an annual report which contains the following information:
  • How long investigations that were concluded in the year to which the report relates took to be concluded
  • How many of the investigations took more than 12 months to be concluded; and
  • The action being taken with a view to all investigations being concluded within 12 months.

The Act extends to England and Wales only. The changes introduced by the Bill will, however, apply only to the Health Service Commissioner for England and complaints within her remit. The Act comes into force on 26 May – two months after the day on which it was passed.

Documents to download

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