Concerns and complaints   

When people have a concern about a care service, it can be beneficial to raise this with the manager of the service in the first instance.  This is often the quickest way to resolve a problem.

However, when people remain concerned about the standard of care provided by a registered service, they can raise this with us. We will ensure that concerns are addressed properly and in good time.  

We look closely at all information given to us when people tell us they are not receiving good care.  We also take account of the care service’s history. Then we assess how to resolve your complaint appropriately.

Anonymous concerns provide a valuable source of information about how well a service is operating. However, it is very useful to have a source contact to go to for more information. These contact details can be kept confidential and will not be shared with the service without your permission.

How to raise a concern or a complaint  

For a registered care service, you can choose to contact us directly by either:

  • filling in our online form
  • calling us on 0345 600 9527 between 09:00 - 16:00, Monday to Friday
  • emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is important that you provide us with your contact telephone number.  We will not provide your details to the service unless you agree to this.

How children and young people can get in touch  

Our animation co-designed with our young inspection volunteers demonstrates The Promise in action – by making sure that our young people’s voices authentically influence our work. 

We are committed to keeping The Promise and delivering our responsibilities as a corporate parent. If a child or young person is unhappy about the standard of care they are receiving, or want to talk to someone in confidence, they can now:

  • send us a text directly on 07870 981785.

Whichever method you use to get in touch, we will:

  • send you an acknowledgement within three working days 
  • keep you informed of the method assessed as appropriate to resolve your complaint
  • where we carry out an investigation we aim to complete the investigation within 40 working days 
  • let you know if we think there will be a delay and explain why
  • let you know our findings and the outcome.

Complaints investigations

When we carry out a complaint investigation, we are always committed to the safety and wellbeing of people experiencing care.  We work with Public Health Scotland and other partners to ensure all visits to care services are as safe as possible.  

An important way for us to make sure care services improve is by listening to concerns. These concerns must be about a registered care service - we cannot investigate services that are not registered with us.

We use a range of methods to ensure we hear the views of people experiencing care, staff and relatives. These include visits to services as well as video calls.

More detailed information on our statutory duty to investigate is set out in:

If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation, you have the right to request a review. We include information about how to do this when we provide you with the written summary of our findings.  

The 5 pathways for complaints

Following assessment, there are a number of ways we can handle concerns when they are raised with us and we may use multiple methodologies for one concern. It is important that each concern is dealt with through the most appropriate route to ensure that concerns are resolved as quickly and effectively as possible. 

You can find more information on the 5 pathways for complaints here.

You can also find information on how we deal with concerns and complaints about care here.

Confidential complaints 

You can choose to make a complaint to us and provide your details but ask that this is kept confidential from the service. We would not share your details with the service without your consent.

How to make a complaint about individuals

If you want to raise a concern about a specific individual (or individuals) working in a care service – rather than the service itself – the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) may be able to help.

The SSSC regulates a wide range of social care workers. They can consider concerns about workers who are registered or applying to register with it.

You can check if a worker is registered by searching the Register or by calling the SSSC on 0345 603 0891. 

Other organisations’ complaints procedures  

For local authority social work departments, please contact the local authority and ask about their complaints procedure.  

For NHS hospital or clinic, please contact the local NHS board. 

The Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) regulate nurses in Scotland. They can consider concerns about specific individuals who are registered nurses. You can let them know about your concerns by:

  • calling the NMC on 020 7637 7181
  • emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • or you can check if a nurse is registered by searching the Register

For independent health service or hospice, contact Healthcare Improvement Scotland. 

For planning permission and building standards, please contact your local authority planning department.