Under Feedback and Complaints in the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities, you have the right to:
- give feedback, make comments, or raise concerns or complaints about the health care you receive from NHS Scotland
- be told the outcome of any investigation into your concerns or complaints
- independent advice and support when providing feedback
- take your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
Feedback and complaints
When receiving NHS care, you or any relative have the right to:
- give feedback
- make comments
- raise concerns
- make a complaint
Before giving feedback, you should be given information about:
- how to give feedback, raise concerns, or make a complaint about the care
- how any feedback, comments, concerns and complaints you make will be handled
You may ask (and if you have a mental health disorder you have a right) to have an independent advocate to help you give your views.
Mediation is a service where independent mediators help the relevant parties to reach an agreement.
You can request, or Health Boards may offer, to provide this service. Both parties must agree to take part before this can go ahead.
You can get help finding mediation services in your area by asking the Feedback and Complaints Officer at your local health board.
You have the right to be told the outcome of any investigation into your concerns or complaints.
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
A judicial review is a court process that allows you to challenge a decision made by an NHS body because you think it is unlawful. It looks primarily at how a decision was made rather than what was decided.
You have the right to seek judicial review if your personal interests are affected by the decision or action of the board.
If you want a decision to be judicially reviewed, you should seek independent legal advice.
Advice and support
You have the right to independent advice and support when providing feedback or making a complaint.
Independent advice and support is available through the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS).
Find out more about the Patient Advice and Support Service
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
You have the right to take your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) if the NHS has fully investigated your complaint and you are still not satisfied.
You have the right to take legal action and make a claim for compensation if you have been harmed by negligent treatment.
Negligent treatment is when care provided falls below the reasonable standard and this causes physical or mental injury or death.
You may be entitled to compensation if you can prove you have been harmed by a negligent act. If you think you may be entitled to compensation, you should seek legal advice.
The Law Society of Scotland has details of solicitors who specialise in handling negligence claims.