Complain about an NHS service

Last updated: 13 January 2020

To complain about an NHS service – such as a hospital, GP or dentist – you should complain to the person or organisation. For example if it's a complaint about your doctor, you could complain to the surgery.

If you don't want to complain directly or your complaint hasn't been resolved, contact your local health board.

There are different complaints procedures for:

You can't complain to the NHS about private health care or anything you're taking legal action about.

Complain on behalf of someone else

You can complain on behalf of:

  • your child
  • someone who agrees to you complaining for them
  • someone who can't make decisions for themselves, if you're their welfare power of attorney or guardian
  • someone close to you who died and you're concerned about the way they were treated
  • someone you're acting as an advocate for

Help with complaints

Contact your local Patient Advice & Support Service (PASS) for independent advice and help with complaints.

Read NHS inform's feedback and complaints leaflet for more information on complaint procedures, including how your complaint will be handled and when you'll get a response.

If you're unhappy with how the NHS handled your complaint

Ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to investigate if you're unhappy with how the NHS handled your complaint.