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NHS care in Scotland
If I have a complaint, who should I speak to?
If you want to make a complaint about any aspect of NHS care or treatment that you have received or you have been refused care or treatment, go to the practice, hospital or service concerned and ask for information on their complaints procedure.
The complaints procedure will be the same whether you wish to complain about NHS staff, an NHS service, or about the place where you have been seen (for example a clinic, hospital or doctor’s surgery).
All NHS Scotland services should be able to direct you to a copy of the NHS inform 'Your health, your rights' leaflet Feedback and complaints: how to have a say about your care and have any concerns and complaints dealt with.
What if I am not satisfied or I am not comfortable approaching the place where I received care?
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, or are not satisfied with the response, you can contact your local NHS Board and ask to speak to someone about complaints.
To find details for your local NHS Board:
- look in the phone book under 'Health Services'
- call the NHS Helpline on 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88)
- go to http://www.nhsinform.co.uk/nhs-in-your-area/.
How do I complain?
Advice on how to complain about the NHS is provided in the NHS inform 'Your health, your rights' leaflet Feedback and complaints: how to have a say about your care and have any concerns and complaints dealt with.
Your Health, Your Rights
Your Health, Your Rights is part of NHS inform. NHS inform provides a coordinated approach and a single source of quality assured health information for the public in Scotland. HRIS produce nationally relevant information about patients' health rights and about the health services that are available from the NHS.
Information is available in a range of formats and languages.
What if I am not happy about the way the NHS has handled my complaint?
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
If you are not happy about how the NHS has handled your complaint you can refer the matter to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) or seek a judicial review.
The SPSO look at complaints after they have been through the full formal complaints procedure of the NHS. It is important that you do this before submitting your complaint to the SPSO.
For more information about using the SPSO see http://www.spso.org.uk.
It may be possible to challenge the final decision on your complaint by seeking a judicial review. The judicial review process allows a court of law to review decisions made by public bodies. You will need to consult a solicitor if you plan to seek a judicial review.
For examples of typical complaints and advice on what to do, you might like to visit our Case studies section.