Our procedure has two stages, Frontline resolution (Stage 1) and Investigation (Stage 2). When we receive a complaint, we determine if it will be dealt with as a Stage 1 or Stage 2.
Stage 1: Frontline resolution
Straight-forward complaints are usually dealt with at this stage. We have up to 5 working days to respond and this may be done in person, by telephone, letter or email.
Stage 2: Investigation
This stage is for more complicated issues, or if you are unhappy with how we dealt with your Stage 1 complaint. When we receive a Stage 2 complaint, we send you a formal acknowledgement within 3 working days. You will then receive a full written response within 20 working days, from the Director of the service responsible. If the issue is quite complex, we may need more time. If this happens, we will let you know.
Answering your complaint
When you make a complaint, it is logged and the department concerned look at what has happened and what should have happened. When possible, the issue will be dealt with there and then.
We will tell you if your complaint is upheld or not upheld, and explain any changes made as a result of your complaint. If we have done something wrong, we would say your complaint is upheld. If we have followed our procedures, or the service is as expected, we would say your complaint is not upheld. Regardless of the outcome, your feedback will be used to help make our services better, or it will be considered when we review policies and procedures.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is an independent body who can review the complaints made to us. If you are unhappy with our response to your Stage 2 complaint, the SPSO can help.
You can contact them for advice and they may investigate the issue to see if we could have done things differently. They may suggest improvements or give us advice on how we could do better.
If you haven't completed both stages of the complaints procedure, the ombudsman may ask you to do this before they get involved.
For more information, please see the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman section.