The NHS Scotland Customer Facing Complaints Handling Procedure
Ellon Medical Group welcomes all forms of feedback and use it to improve our services
- positive feedback helps to identify areas of best practice
- negative comments help to identify areas of concern and to make sure action is taken to prevent recurrence
You have the right to be given information about how to give feedback, make comments, raise concerns, or make a complaint about the care you have received. You also have the right to be informed about how any feedback, comments, concerns and complaints you make will be handled.
To give feedback or make a complaint you can:
If you can, first talk to a member of staff involved in your care. If you do this, they can try to sort out your complaint on the spot.
If you can't or you do not wish to do this, you can ask to speak to a senior member of staff or the Feedback and Complaints Officer for the NHS organisation involved.
If you prefer to complain in writing rather than in person or over the phone, you can send a letter or an email to the relevant NHS organisation.
When complaining, you should give:
- your full name and address (and the patient’s full name and address if you are complaining for them)
- as much helpful information as possible about what happened, where it happened and when
- information about how you want the matter to be resolved
- your phone number, if you are happy to provide it, so that you can be contacted to discuss your complaint
Giving this information at the outset will help clearly identify the problem and what needs undertaken to resolve things.
How long have I got to make a complaint?
The NHS has a time limit for accepting complaints.
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of the event you want to complain about, or within six months of finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.
However, if you feel the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please speak to the person dealing with it. A complaint can sometimes be accepted after the time limit.
You can complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman about a decision not to accept your complaint.
What if I change my mind after I’ve complained?
You can change your mind about making a complaint at any time. Please let the person handling your complaint know as soon as possible.
When will I get a full response?
You have the right to be told the outcome of any investigation into your concerns or complaints. Staff will write to you with a full response within 20 working days of receiving your complaint at the investigation stage. This response should:
- show that staff have looked into your complaint
- reply to all the points you made
- offer you an apology if things have gone wrong
- explain what action has been taken or will be taken to stop what you complained about happening again
- if necessary, explain why the we cannot do anything more about some parts of your complaint
- offer you the chance to talk to a member of staff if there is anything you don’t understand
In some cases, we may need more time to give you a full response and may not be able to keep to these times. If this happens, staff will let you know and tell you why.
What if I’m not happy about the way the NHS has handled my complaint?
If the NHS has fully investigated your complaint and you’re still not happy, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to look at it.
The Ombudsman can't normally look at:
- a complaint that has not completed the complaints procedure
- events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than 12 months ago
- a matter that has been or is being considered in court
When making a complaint or raising a concern you can expect:
- it to be dealt with efficiently and be properly investigated
- a full explanation into how it has been investigated
- to be told what action has been or will be taken as a result
- an apology if a mistake has occurred.
- the NHS to use your feedback to improve services
Concerns about your data
If your complaint is related to concerns about your health records, you have the right to take your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.