Making a Complaint
Current COVID 19 Situation
Due to the current situation with COVID-19 there will be a delay in replying to any feedback and enquiries received by the Service.
Any Reviews conducted under the NHS Scotland Complaints Handling Procedure are carried out by our Operational Management Teams who are currently working around the clock managing the outbreak. The Service will always aim to action all feedback within the timescales set out however, the priority at the current time has to be managing the outbreak and supporting frontline operations and staff. Please be assured that we will respond to all feedback and enquiries when we can. We ask for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation.
Please note that, on the basis of government advice on social isolation, our patient experience team will be working remotely from home, meaning the phone lines will not be monitored in the normal way. There is a voicemail facility, but we would encourage you to use email as the main communication method. We will be checking voicemails received but this will not be as regularly as under normal circumstances and there may be a delay in acknowledgement. We will also be checking post received but again, there may be a slight delay. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please use our feedback form for any feedback which is not a complaint.
Making a Complaint
The Scottish Ambulance Service aims to provide the best possible services at all times but we accept that sometimes things do go wrong. If there is an aspect of your care or our service with which you have not been satisfied, please let us know as soon as possible. We adhere to the NHS Model Complaints Handling Procedure and aim to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.
Stage 1 – Early Resolution
We aim to resolve simple complaints and concerns within five working days. This will usually be with arranging for a local manager to contact you.
Stage 2 – Investigation
Some complaints or concerns are more serious and will require a detailed examination. We aim to resolve these cases within 20 working days.
Who can complain?
Anyone can make a complaint to us. You can complain to us directly, or if you would rather have someone make a complaint on your behalf, we can deal with your representative. This could be a relative, carer, friend or any other person you choose. If you agree to someone making a complaint on your behalf we will need to ask for your permission for us to deal with that person.
Will I be treated differently if I make a complaint?
Absolutely not. We welcome all feedback on the services that we provide and are committed to providing the best possible service to all of our patients and learning from the feedback that we receive.
How can I make a complaint?
There are a number of ways a complaint can be made. You can complain in person to a member of staff, contact us by telephone, complete an online form or write to us. If contacting us be e-mail, please provide your full postal address and telephone details and that of the patient if you are complaining on behalf of somebody.
Telephone 0131 314 0000 (Option 3)
Our telephone lines are open:
Monday - Thursday 8.00am - 4.30pm Friday 8am - 3pm
*By post to Scottish Ambulance - Corporate Affairs & Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service National Headquarters, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
*We will often contact people who have complained to us to discuss their concerns. Therefore, if possible, please provide a contact telephone number and/or email address when writing to us.
Independent advice and support service
Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) is a new independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS health care.
In particular the Service will promote an awareness and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of patients and will advise and support people to give feedback, make comments, raise concerns or make a complaint about treatment and care provided by the NHS in Scotland.
What happens after a complaint is made?
We will contact you within three working days to acknowledge that we have received your complaint. A consent form will be sent to you for completion where the complaint has been raised on behalf of someone else. We will aim to keep you informed of the progress and resolve the complaint within the timeframe described above. If this is not possible we will contact you to advise you of this.
Cases for possible mediation
The Scottish Ambulance Service will consider conciliation or mediation services to help resolve a complaint where it is appropriate and all of the parties involved agree. We are working in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Mediation Network to use mediation in complaints handling within NHS Scotland. It is hoped that mediation might help take matters forward when both sides do not agree with the outcome. If you wish to discuss mediation please contact us.
I’m not happy with the way my complaint has been handled
If you are unsatisfied with the response to your complaint you can write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman who will consider complaints after they have been through the formal complaints process. You can contact them:
In person (if you would like to visit in person, you must make an appointment first) at:
99 McDonald Road
by post: Freepost SPSO
Freephone 0800 377 7330
Online - www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
Reports featuring the Scottish Ambulance Service are available from the Scottish Public Service's Ombusman.