In 2020-21 we received 3,130 complaints - a 28% decrease on the 4,332 received in the previous year. The first few months of the year saw a marked reduction in the volume of cases received into the office; nearly half the number of cases we received at the same point in 2019-20. This can likely be attributed to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption to public services as a result of national lockdowns. As Scottish public bodies adjusted to the situation, the number of complaints received rose steadily. At quarter 4 complaint numbers were nearly at the same level as the previous year.
Other key figures
- 676 - the number of enquiries received on which we gave advice, support and signposting information. This is a 57% decrease on the 1,569 received in the previous year - likely due to the reduced availability of our telephone advice service during the pandemic.
- 3,176 – the total number of complaints determined, which is a decrease of 23% on 4,099 in the previous year.
- 2,756 complaints were decided following detailed initial consideration. These were not progressed beyond initial enquiries for a number of reasons. For example, they were out of our jurisdiction, out of time or we could not achieve more for the complainant.
- 420 - the number of complaints we investigated. 71% of which were about the health sector. This proportion is up from 66% last year.
- 61% - the overall rate of upheld complaints. Up from 58% last year.
- 740 recommendations made for redress and improvement to public service:
- 37% for personal redress - down from 38% in the previous year
- 52% for learning and improvement - up from 49% in the previous year
- 11% about complaint handling - down from 13% in the previous year.
- 267 pieces of feedback given to authorities on how a complaint was handled or where we identify an issue not complained about.
- 20% - the proportion of complaints made to us before completing the organisation's complaints procedure. Up from 19% the previous year. For further information about the descriptions we use in our statistics, please see our explanation of terms.
2020-21 statistical tables
- Enquiries and complaints received by subject (PDF, 5MB)
- Enquiries and complaints received by subject (Excel, 77KB)
- Complaints received by subject and authority (PDF, 5MB)
- Complaints received by subject and authority (Excel, 114KB)
- Enquiries and complaints determined by sector and outcome (PDF, 522KB)
- Enquiries and complaints determined by sector and outcome (Excel, 43KB)
- Enquiries and complaints determined by subject and outcome (PDF, 5MB)
- Enquiries and complaints determined by subject and outcome (Excel, 117KB)
- Complaints determined by authority and outcome (PDF, 6MB)
- Complaints determined by authority and outcome (Excel, 100KB)
Further information is available in our Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21.