- Patient information
- Information about health rights
- Information for young people
- Information for carers
- Information about health services
- Other languages and formats
- British Sign Language
- Easy to read
- Making a complaint about the NHS
- Keeping your health information private
- Your health records
- The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities
- The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities - Information for you
- Access: your rights when using NHS health services in Scotland
- Communication and participation: the right to be informed, and involved
- Feedback and complaints: how to have a say about your care
- Confidentiality: how the NHS protects your personal health information
- Respect: the right to be treated with dignity and respect
- Safety: the right to safe and effective care
- Hospital waiting times: how quickly you should receive hospital care
- Large print
- Local NHS contact details
Giving feedback or making a complaint about the NHS
You can get this information as a PDF file by clicking the icon at the top right.
The NHS in Scotland tries to give you the best possible care and treatment. You can help us improve services by telling us what you think of them, good as well as bad.
This leaflet explains:
- how to give feedback and make comments about the health care you receive
- how to complain using the NHS complaints procedure
Tell us about anything that is important to you.
If you’re in hospital or have been recently, you may want to tell us what you think about the care and treatment you received, or about the food or the ward.
You may want to tell us about something we’ve done well.
You may be concerned that you don’t have enough information about the care and treatment offered or about visiting hours, car parking or opening times.
How can I give my feedback?
You can give your feedback by:
- talking to a member of staff involved in your care
- filling in a patient survey or questionnaire
- phoning the NHS inform Helpline on 0800 22 44 88
- telling the Patient Advice & Support Service (PASS)
- putting your comments in a suggestion box, or
- contacting your NHS board.
What happens to my feedback?
We will use your feedback to improve the services we provide.
Things you can complain about
You can complain to the NHS about things like:
- the care or treatment you get from the NHS
- the place where you get treatment, for example, a doctor’s surgery, a hospital, a dental practice, an optician, a pharmacy, a prison health centre or an ambulance
- the staff involved in your care
Things you cannot complain about
There are some things you cannot complain about to the NHS, including:
- private health care or treatment
- services that you do not get from the NHS
- something which you want to talk to a lawyer about
Who can complain?
You can complain if it is about something that happened to you.
If you agree, someone can complain for you. This could be a relative, carer or friend. Or your advocate can complain for you.
Normally, you must complain within six months. If you think you have missed your chance, tell us anyway. Sometimes we can deal with a complaint even if it is late.
How to complain
First talk to your doctor or nurse or other member of staff. They can try to sort out your complaint straight away.
You may not be able to talk to the doctor or nurse. You can ask to speak to a senior member of staff. Or you can ask to speak to the complaints officer.
The way to complain
You can complain in person, by phone, letter, fax, e-mail or textphone.
Tell us your name and address.
Tell us about what happened, where and when.
We will keep information about you private. We will make a record of your details and complaint, and use it to help us make services better.
What happens next?
We will write and tell you we have got your complaint. We will send another letter to tell you what we found out and what we are going to do about it.
If you are still unhappy
If you are still not happy you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
- The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Phone: 0800 377 7330
Text message: 07900 494 372
Where to get help to complain
Advice and support
You can get advice or help with making a complaint from the Patient Advice & Support Service (PASS), which is available through citizens advice bureaux. Please ask staff for details.
Ask the complaints officer about independent advocacy services in your area or contact
- Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
69a George Street
Phone: 0131 260 5380
Mediation means that you and the person you have complained about get help to try to agree what should happen.
If you want to find out more about mediation, ask the person who is dealing with your complaint.
Where to get more information
To find out more about anything in this leaflet contact your local NHS board.
To find out more about your rights contact:
146 Argyle Street
Phone: 0141 226 4541 (this line is open between 1pm and 4pm on Monday to Friday for information and advice)
People First (Scotland)
77- 79 Easter Road
Phone: 0131 478 7707
Your comments please!
We want to know what you think about this leaflet.
Please give us your comments:
- by post to NHS inform, NHS 24, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Beardmore Street, Clydebank, G81 4HX
- by emailing us at email@example.com or by completing the feedback form in the contact us section of our website
- by phoning us on 0800 22 44 88
We have tried our best to make sure this leaflet is correct but the law is much more complicated than this. If you plan to take legal action, you should get an advocate, advice service or solicitor to help you.
You can get all of this information in a printed leaflet from your local NHS board. If you need help to get this contact the NHS inform Helpline on 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88).
Produced by NHS inform.
Produced July 2012
Revision date June 2014
Page last edited: 15 April 2013