Making a Complaint

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.

Can I make a complaint on behalf of someone else?

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. 

Online by completing our online complaints form

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. 

Find out more about the Patient Advice and Support Service

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:

Bridgeside House
99 McDonald Road
EH7 4NS  

by post: Freepost SPSO
Freephone 0800 377 7330
Online -

Reports featuring the Scottish Ambulance Service are available from the Scottish Public Service's Ombusman.

Complaints Handling Procedure