5. Systemic issues
Where we identify a systemic issue, we will work with the provider to try to resolve the issue.
A systemic issue is a concern about a system, process or practice of a provider or providers that may or does affect a significant number or particular type of consumers.
We can handle a systemic issue with or without a complaint.
We have published a procedure about how we handle systemic issues.
Where we cannot resolve the systemic issue by agreement, we may make recommendations to the provider for resolving the issue. The provider must consider our recommendations and take steps to resolve the issue.
When we make such recommendations we will discuss them with the provider. If the provider agrees with our recommendations, the provider must implement them. If we think the systemic issue remains unresolved, we may use our powers under these Terms of Reference to share information about the systemic issue with other bodies.
We may stop handling a complaint connected to a systemic issue until we have finished handling the systemic issue.
If this happens, we will tell the provider and the consumer that we have stopped handling the complaint.
This version is published on 1 December 2014