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NHS complaints procedure

Complaints procedure

You can make your complaint in person, by phone, by e-mail or in writing.

We have a two-stage complaints procedure.  We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly.  But if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will tell you and keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one:

We will always try to resolve your complaint quickly, if we can.

If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at Stage two.

Stage two:

We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage one.  We also look at some complaints immediately at this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.

We will acknowledge your complaint and respond as soon as possible.  This will be after no more than 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision on your complaint, you remain dissatisfied with our decision or the way we have handled your complaint, you can ask the SPSO to consider it.

We will tell you how to do this when we send you our final decision.


NHS Scotland complaints procedure

NHS Grampian is committed to providing high quality care and treatment to people in our communities through the delivery of safe, effective and person-centred care.  We understand, however, that sometimes things go wrong. If you are dissatisfied with something we have done, or have not done, please tell us and we will do our best to put things right.  If we cannot resolve matters in the way you want, we will explain why it’s not possible to do as you suggest. 

This leaflet tells you about our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint.  It includes information about what you can expect from us when we are dealing with your complaint.


What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as:

Any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf

If you need to complain about something, we encourage you to do so. We also understand that your complaint may involve more than one NHS body or service, or relate to both health and social care services, or it may be about someone working on our behalf. Our complaints procedure covers all of these possibilities.


Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us.  You can complain directly to us, or if you would rather have someone make the complaint on your behalf, we can deal with your representative. This could be a relative, a carer, a friend or any other person that you choose.  We can also give you information about advocacy services, and about the Patient Advice and Support Service, which can help you to make your complaint.  If you agree to someone making the complaint on your behalf, it is important for you to know that we will need to ask for your permission for us to deal with that person.


What can I complain about?

You can complain about things like:

  • Your care and/or treatment;
  • delays;
  • a failure to provide a service;
  • an inadequate standard of service;
  • a lack of information and clarity about appointments;
  • difficulty in making contact with us for appointments or queries;
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of our staff;
  • scheduled or unscheduled ambulance care;
  • transport concerns, either to, from or within the healthcare environment;                                                                               
  • environmental or domestic issues;
  • operational and procedural issues;
  • our failure to follow the appropriate process; and
  • your dissatisfaction with our policy.

We realise that it is not possible to list everything that you can complain about.  If you want to complain about something that we have not listed above, we encourage you to do so. 


What can’t I complain about?

There are some things we cannot deal with through our complaints handling procedure.  These include:

  • a routine first-time request for a service, for example a request for an appointment or a request for a specific course of treatment;
  • a request for a second opinion in respect of care or treatment;
  • matters relating to private healthcare or treatment;
  • matters relating to services not provided by or funded by the NHS;
  • a previously concluded complaint or a request to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision;
  • a complaint made by an employee of the NHS Board or health service provider or other person in relation to their employment contract;
  • a complaint that is being or has been investigated by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO);
  • a complaint arising from a suggested failure to comply with a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act; and
  • a complaint about which you have commenced legal proceedings, or have clearly stated that you intend to do so, rather than pursue the matter using the NHS complaints procedure.

We also realise that it is not possible to list everything that you cannot complain about.  If other procedures can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.


How do I complain?

You can complain in person at the place where you have received care, treatment or advice, or where the incident that you want to complain about happened.

Inverurie Smile Care, 31 High Street, Inverurie, AB51 3QA. 

Tel:01467 629909 Email: Inverurie@agdp.co.uk

 You can also complain by phone, in writing or by email at:

NHS Grampian Feedback Service
Summerfield House
2 Eday Road
AB15 6RE

Tel: 0345 337 6338

E-mail nhsgrampian.feedback@nhs.net

You can contact the SPSO:


In Person:                                                          By Post:

SPSO                                                                  SPSO

4 Melville Street                                               Freepost EH641

Edinburgh                                                         Edinburgh

EH3 7NS                                                            EH3 0BR


Freephone:  0800 377 7330

Online contact www.spso.org.uk/contact-us

Website:  www.spso.org.uk

Mobile site:  http://m.spso.org.uk


Getting help to make your complaint

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself.  We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service as long as the person has given their permission for us to deal with that person.  We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.

The Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) is an organisation that provides free and confidential advice and support to patients and other members of the public in relation to NHS Scotland. The service promotes an awareness and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of patients and can advise and support people who wish to make a complaint to the NHS.  Further information and contact details can be found on the PASS web site:


We are committed to making NHS services easy to use for all members of the community.  In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help you to access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, tell us in person, contact us on Tel: 0345 337 6338 , email us at nhsgrampian.feedback@nhs.net


Our contact details

Please contact us by the following means:

Inverurie Smile Care, 31 High Street, Inverurie, AB51 3QA.

Tel: 01467 629909 Email: Inverurie@agdp.co.uk

We can also give you this leaflet in other languages and formats (such as large print, audio and Braille).

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