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NHS complaints procedure – Second Stage Complaints

Post date: 06/01/2013 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

Summary

The second stage is where the complaint is not resolved in the practice and the complainant asks for an Independent Review by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman

Most complaints are resolved at practice level. However, in some cases the complainant may not be satisfied and may ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to investigate their complaint.

You must tell complainants that they should contact the Ombudsman no later than 12 months after the event they are complaining about. Unhappiness about the outcome of the complaints process is not sufficient cause for the Ombudsman to investigate; complainants will need to provide reasons why they are still dissatisfied and consider whether or not they have suffered hardship or injustice. The Ombudsman does not investigate all cases.

Investigations are conducted in private and the SPSO has the same powers as the Court of Session to require people to give evidence or produce documents.

At the end of the investigation process a proposed report is issued, which is sent to both the complainant and organisation in question, to allow comments or suggestions for change on the draft.

Where the Ombudsman has finished investigating a complaint, a report is sent to the complainant, the board or GP practice complained about and the Scottish Parliament. A report cannot be changed once it has been laid.

Further information

Download a PDF of this factsheet

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