HC Deb 25 October 1990 vol 178 cc242-3W
Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will specify what formal procedures for making complaints and representations, specifying where appropriate under which sections of what Acts, are available locally and nationally to children and young people under 18 years of age who wish to make complaints about matters which are the responsibility of his Department.

Mr. Rifkind

Under section 5(1) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 anyone of any age who claims to have sustained injustice in consequence of maladministration by the Scottish Office may ask a Member of Parliament to refer a grievance to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. If the complainant is for any reason unable to act for him or herself, the complaint may be made by virtue of section 6(2) of the 1967 Act by another person on behalf of the complainant. The PCA may also investigate complaints against the following bodies, listed in schedule 2 to the Parliamentary and Health Service Commissioners Act 1987, for which I am responsible or to which I make appointments:

  • Countryside Commission for Scotland
  • Crofters Commission
  • Department of the Registers of Scotland
  • Forestry Commission
  • General Register Office, Scotland
  • Highlands and Islands Development Board
  • Red Deer Commission
  • Scottish Courts Administration
  • Scottish Homes
  • Scottish Legal Aid Board
  • Scottish Medical Practices Committee
  • Scottish New Town Development Corporations
  • Scottish Record Office
  • Scottish Sports Council
  • Scottish Tourist Board

Under section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 I have the power to take default action, on complaint by an interested person or otherwise, in respect of the failure of an education authority, school board or school managers to discharge any statutory duty under the 1980 Act.

Persons, including children and young people under 18 years of age or those acting on their behalf, may make complaints or representations about their treatment by the national health service in Scotland in the following ways:

  1. a. by complaining to the appropriate health board about their treatment in hospital (section 1 of the Hospital Complaints Procedure Act 1985);
  2. b. by complaining to the appropriate health board that a family practitioner is in breach of the relevant terms of service (various sections of the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978);
  3. c. by making representation to a tribunal that the continued inclusion of an individual in a list of those providing family practitioner services is prejudicial to those services (section 29 of the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978); and
  4. d. by complaining to the Health Service Commissioner (Section 90 to 97 of the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978), although the Commissioner does not have the powers to investigate actions specified in Schedule 14 to the 1978 Act.

This reply excludes references to procedures in which I have no locus and which are about matters that are the responsibility of local authorities.