Social Security Experience Panels - keeping staff and clients safe: report

This report outlines the findings of a survey conducted with panel members, which looked to help design the processes for keeping Social Security Scotland staff and clients safe.

This document is part of a collection

How to reduce feelings of frustration or anger between clients and organisations like Social Security Scotland

Respondents were asked what Social Security Scotland should put in place to help reduce feelings of frustration or anger. A range of themes emerged from the responses.


Respondents felt that Social Security Scotland should always inform clients about what will happen at their appointments.

“Ensure that people are fully aware of what is going to happen at appointments”.

“It should be made clear to the client what to expect from a visit, how long and the aims of the visit”.

Staff training

Respondents felt that it was crucial for staff to be trained to know how to interact with clients, including specifically training on how to interact with people with different disabilities.

“Highly trained staff who understand and can empathise with the difficulties individuals are experiencing”.

“Training Programmes to make aware the different situations people are having with their condition”.

“Good staff training”.

Meeting client’s needs

Many respondents felt that Social Security Scotland should focus on the clients’ specific needs and get their opinion on how to make the interview less stressful for them. Some gave specific examples.

“It may be during an interview the claimant is becoming frustrated because their literacy skills might not be good so using images or powerpoint slides, explaining a process or giving them the time and oppurtunity to take notes”.

Respondents felt that clients should be encouraged to go to these sessions with someone who can support them.

“Encourage people to bring their support worker, friend/family or advocate”.

A couple of respondents mentioned having childcare facilities can help.

“Short term child care on the premises”.

Respondents said that the building should be accessible for all.

“Accesible venues, not in busy city centres where it is noisy, impossible and expensive to park”.

Positive atmosphere

Respondents felt that making the building as friendly as possible would reduce feelings of frustrations and anger. Respondents often specifically suggested making the atmosphere more pleasant within the waiting area.

“Have someone welcome individuals and checking in on individuals as they are waiting to enquire if they are ok”.

“Make the waiting area more welcoming”.

“Tea,coffee and biscuits provided”.

Safe quiet space available

Many respondents suggested that having a safe space in Social Security Scotland to calm down would help with anger/frustration. This point is returned to below.

“Have a room that is quiet where someone can go to to take time out and calm down”.



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