Have your say! - your right to be heard

If you are a young person who uses the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland this information is for you.

It tells you how to give us your comments, suggestions or complaints about your health care.

In the NHS, we want to give you the best possible care and treatment. There may be times when you think we could do better. And sometimes you may even want to tell us about something we’ve done well.

Whatever age you are, you have rights when it comes to your health including:

  • the right to have your say and be listened to
  • the right to complain if you’re unhappy about something we’ve done.

We want you to tell us if you have comments, suggestions, concerns or have a complaint about your health care. This leaflet explains how you can do this.

How to have your sayimage of boy giving the thumbs up

If you tell us how you feel about the care you receive, we can make changes. Then the NHS will be better for you and other young people.

What can I have my say about?

You can tell us about anything that is important to you. We want to hear your feedback – tell us what you think by giving us any comments, suggestions or concerns you have about the NHS.

  • You may feel that health workers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other people who look after your health) haven’t given you enough information about your care or treatment.
  • Maybe you think there should be more services for young people. 
  • If you’re in hospital now or have been recently, you may want to tell us what you think about the food or the ward. 
  • You may think that health workers should listen to you more – maybe you think they only speak to your parents and don’t talk to you directly.

These are just examples. You can tell us what you think about anything to do with your care. Remember, you can tell us about good things too!

How can I have my say?

There are lots of ways to make yourself heard. For example, you can:

  • speak to any health worker looking after you about how you feel 
  • put your comments in a suggestion box 
  • talk to your parent, guardian or another adult you trust. You can ask them to tell us what you think if you don’t want to do it yourself 
  • give your feedback directly to your local health board, which is in charge of NHS services in your area. Or you can tell the Patient Advice and Support Service.

How do I give feedback to the health board?

You can give feedback directly to your GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician. They’re keen to hear your opinion.
Every health board also has a feedback and complaints officer, who will be pleased to hear from you.
To have your voice heard, you need to get in touch with the right person.
To find out who to contact in your area you can:

  • visit your local health board’s website to find a feedback form, phone number, email address or postal address for their feedback and complaints officer 
  • phone the NHS inform Helpline on 0800 22 44 88 and they will tell you who to contact.

Page last edited: 18 December 2012