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Complaints (cont'd)

What happens when I have complained ?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two stages :

Stage one : frontline resolution

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong and immediate action to resolve the problem.

We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.

Stage two : investigation

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.

When using Stage 2 we will :

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days.
  • discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for.
  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO cannot normally look at :

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO).
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago.
  • a matter that has been or is being considered by a committee, court or tribunal.

You can contact the SPSO :

In Person SPSO
Bridgeside House
99 McDonald Road
By Post Freepost SPSO
Freephone 0800 377 7330
Online contact
Web Site

Getting help to make your complaint

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you. You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance,
Tel: 0131 260 5380
Fax: 0131 260 5381

We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, such as large font, audio, or Braille, tell us in person, contact us on 01292 612221, e-mail us at

In accordance with our Complaints Handling Procedure and in line with SPSO's recommendations we will report annually our performance in handling complaints. You can access previous Annual Reports on our Performance in Handling Complaints by clicking on the links below.

adobe image   SPSO based Complaints Handling Procedure : 2015-16
adobe image   SPSO based Complaints Handling Procedure : 2016-17
adobe image   SPSO based Complaints Handling Procedure : 2017-18
adobe image   SPSO based Complaints Handling Procedure : 2018-19