Complaints Modernisation. Part 1: Consultation on short term changes – by Regulation

Closed 18 Oct 2021

Opened 6 Sep 2021

Feedback updated 1 Apr 2022

We asked

The purpose of the consultation was to seek the views of the public and the relevant professional persons and bodies regarding the Department of Health and Social Care’s (“the Department”) proposals for short term changes to the process for dealing with complaints about health and social care services (being made by Regulations) – this was Part 1 of the consultation; and

At the same time the Department also consulted on longer term changes to be made under the Reform Bill – this was Part 2 of the consultation.

You said

Fifty-four responses were received to part 1 of the consultation via the online consultation hub and 8 substantial separate written responses were also received.

Overall, there was support for the updated Regulations but further changes to the detail were suggested in many different areas order to make the complaints process work better for individuals.

We did

The results to Part 1 of the consultation have been analysed and the written submissions have been reviewed by the Department to inform the content of the Complaints Regulations.

In November 2021 the Department reviewed the approach to determine whether the proposed Regulations were the best way to make the changes or whether a bespoke Bill (primary legislation) could be developed to address all issues in one go.

The Department determined that it remained committed to the Tynwald resolution to complete the modernisation of the existing Regulations as far as these Regulations would permit, noting that there would be plans for further reform within the Reform Bill. This would ensure that the necessary changes were made as soon as possible.

The Department also considered the practicality of setting up a new Independent Review Body ("IRB") for an interim period, and decided that it would be of greater benefit to the public to move towards setting up an Ombudsman at the earliest opportunity.

Following review of the consultation responses, the Department's preference would be for an Independent Ombudsman to be set up operationally independent from the Department and Manx Care. However, it is not possible to set up such a body under the Regulations; therefore, as an interim solution, it is intended that a Health and Social Care Ombudsman Body will be set up under the Social Services Act 2011.

In March 2022, the Department learned that it did not have the power within the current Acts to make the Regulations that had been drafted and consulted upon. As a result of this, a short Bill has been drafted to amend the Manx Care Act 2021 to give the Department the necessary powers to make the Regulations that had been drafted. It is intended that this Bill will be progressed quickly through the branches of Tynwald in order that the Regulations can be laid before Tynwald in June and July as planned.
After considering the outcomes of this consultation, the Department will draft a Bill and make the Regulations required to implement the proposals.
Work remains outstanding to consider the responses to part 2 of the consultation and develop the additional areas outlined in that consultation including establishing an independent Ombudsman. These will be developed as part of the policy development for the Reform Bill. A public consultation on a draft Reform Bill will take place in due course.

The full consultation response report can be found below.

Results updated 1 Apr 2022



The consultation aims to identify solutions to improve the health and social care complaints process and outlines an updated approach for complaints handling. This consultation is in two parts. This is part one and it covers suggested changes to Regulations that will provide a short term way to embed the complaints process in legislation with the aim to minimise the risk of delays in reviewing complaints, inconsistent decision making and provide greater transparency of activity and learning.

Included below are draft copies of eight sets of Regulations that are planned for introduction to Tynwald.  

These are: 

  1. The National Health Service (Complaints Regulations) 2021, which set out the procedure to be followed in relation to health care complaints; 
  2. The Social Services (Complaints) Regulations 2021, which set out the procedure to be followed in relation to social care complaints; 
  3. The Social Services for Children (Complaints) Regulations 2021, which set out the procedure to be followed in relation to complaints about social care services provided to children; 
  4. The Health and Social Services Independent Review Body (Constitution, etc.) Regulations 2021, which cover the membership of the Independent Review Body and how complaints to it are to be considered;  
  5. The Social Services Act 2011 (Section 26) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to amend the Social Services Act 2011 to allow the Regulations at (2) to be made under it;  
  6. The National Health Service Act 2001 (Section 38) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to amend the National Health Services Act 2001 to allow the Regulations at (1) to be made under it;  
  7. The Children and Young Persons Act 2001 (Amendment) Regulations 2021, to amend the Children and Young Persons Act 2001 to allow the Regulations at (3) to be made under it; and 
  8. The Manx Care Act 2021 (Schedule 2) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to amend the mandate requirements under the Manx Care Act 2021 to fit with the revisions being made by these Regulations. 

The short-term changes being sought require changes to a wide range of Regulations.  The consultation survey is structured to assist you in understanding the principles of the proposed amendments, rather than presenting section by section amendments in detail. Further background information and a flow diagram to aid understanding of the process is contained in the pdf of the consultation document that can be found below.

There are limitations on possible amendments that can be made by Regulations and fundamental modernisation will only be achieved by the primary legislation changes. These are outlined in Part 2 of this consultation.

Why your views matter

The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on the proposed content of several sets of draft Regulations to modernise the complaints process, including the independent review stage. 


  • All Areas


  • All residents


  • Legislation
  • Health