NHS Borders is committed to providing high quality care and treatment to people in our communities through the delivery of safe, effective and person-centred care. We understand, however, that sometimes things go wrong. If you are dissatisfied with something we have done, or have not done, please tell us and we will do our best to put things right. If we cannot resolve matters in the way you want, we will explain why it's not possible to do as you suggest.

NHS Borders follows the NHS Scotland Model Complaints Handling Procedure which is detailed in the public guidance.

Resolving a complaint

NHS Borders aims to resolve your complaint or concern quickly and fairly.  If there is an aspect of your care experience that you are not satisfied with please in the first instance raise it with the staff involved in your care and treatment. If you are still not satisfied, or feel unable to do this, please contact the Feedback and Complaints Team.

How can I make a complaint?

There are a number of ways a complaint can be made.

  • In person to any member of staff
  • By telephone 01896 826719
  • In writing to:

NHS Borders Feedback and Complaints Team
Borders General Hospital
Melrose TD6 9BS

Complaints regarding GPs, Dentists, Chemists or Opticians:

If your complaint is about any of the above services you should complain to the practice directly. All of these independent contractors follow the same feedback and complaints procedures as NHS Borders. If you do not wish to deal with the practice directly, you should contact NHS Lothian Customer Relations and Feedback Team that manage complaints about independent contractors in the NHS Borders area:

Telephone: 0131 536 3370
Email: craft@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

In writing to:

NHS Lothian Customer Relations and Feedback Team
Waverley Gate
2 – 4 Waterloo Place

What happens after a complaint is made?

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

Stage One - Early, local resolution

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

Sometimes we will have to make some enquiries before we can respond to your complaint. We will give you our decision at Stage One in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If we cannot 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 Two. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.

Stage Two - Investigation

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

When using Stage Two we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days;
  • where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for; and
  • 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.


NHS Borders will consider offering mediation services to help resolve a complaint where there is agreement that all parities think this is the best way to proceed.

NHS Borders can access independent mediators through the Scottish Mediation Network.

I'm not happy with the way my complaint has been handled

If you are unsatisfied with the response to your complaint you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman who will consider complaints after you have been through the local complaints process.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman 
Freepost EH641 
EH3 0BR 
Freephone 0800 377 7330 
Fax 0800 377 7331 
Text Number 0790 049 4372

Email: ask@spso.org.uk 
Website: http://www.spso.org.uk

Health Rights Information Scotland

Find clear, accurate and up to date information about your health rights at Health Rights Information Scotland. This includes information about what you can expect from the NHS, accessing your health records, and being involved in decisions about your health care.

NHS Borders Complaints and Feedback Annual Report 2012/13

NHS Borders Feedback and Complaints Annual Report 2013/14

NHS Borders Feedback and Complaints Annual Report 2014/15

NHS Borders Feedback and Complaints Annual Report 2015/16

NHS Borders Feedback and Complaints Annual Report 2016/17