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Complaints and Challenging Decisions

This section contains information on making complaints and challenging decisions.

Making a Complaint

The NHS, local authorities and health and social care partnerships in Scotland follow a two-stage complaints procedure. You can find details of the organisation's complaints procedure on their website, or by contacting them directly. 

Stage 1: Frontline resolution

if you are unhappy with the services you have received, you may be able to solve this informally. You can make your complaint in person, by phone or email to the manager of the service you are complaining about. The main focus should be on resolving the complaint to your satisfaction. You should receive a response about your complaint within 5 working days. If you are happy with the outcome, your complaint is now complete.

However, if you are not happy, or your complaint is too complicated to be dealt with informally, it can move to the next stage.

Stage 2 – Investigation

If you are still unhappy you can ask the organisation to take your complaint to Stage 2. You should receive a response within 3 working days to let you know that the complaint has been recorded. Staff will then investigate the situation and have to get back to you within 20 working days. If the situation is very complicated you might be asked to accept that it will take longer than 20 days for the organisation to decide what to do. If you are happy with the decision reached the complaint is closed.

Stage 3 - Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

If you are not happy you can take your complaint on to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). They have a range of information about how to make a complaint.  This can be found by visiting their website at:


Challenging Decisions

Our fellow national carer organisation, MECOPP, have produced "Challenging Social Care Decisions in Scotland: A legal guide" authored by by Tim Haddow, Advocate

This is part of the work of their 3 R’s Project, MECOPP’s Self-Directed Support Legal Rights Project. One of the aims of the 3 R’s Project is to build the capacity of third sector organisations which provide support to individuals who are entitled to self-directed support under the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. This guide is part of that work.

You can download a copy of the guide by clicking the "download PDF" icon on the right or by clicking here.

You can also contact the 3 R's Project directly for advice. The 3 R’s Project will assist any individual with social care support needs and carers to realise new rights and entitlements to self directed support.  You can find out more about self directed support at the "My Support, My Life" website

It will also helps third sector organisations which provide support to individuals who are entitled to self-directed support. 

The 3 R's project can provide you with:

  • advice and on your legal rights under self-directed support, human rights and equalities legislation
  • undertake casework on your behalf to support resolution of more complex issues
  • refer you to legal organisations if resolution cannot be reached

To find out more:

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