Frequently Asked Questions


Have you got questions about the Patient Advice and Support Service? The Frequently Asked Questions below might help.

How do I complain?

You can do this by yourself or with the help of PASS. Click here to find out more about the NHS complaints procedure. 

You can also download an information pack from here.

What can I complain about?

Any treatment, or failure to provide treatment by the NHS in Scotland.

How can I find my local Citizens Advice Bureau?

You can find your local Citizens Advice Bureau by entering your postcode in the bureau finder

Will I see a Patient Adviser on my first visit to the Citizens Advice Bureau?

Not necessarily. You will usually see a generalist adviser in the Bureau. If you require more support, they might refer you to a specialist Patient Adviser. 

How long can I expect to wait until my local Citizens Advice Bureau contact me after filling in the contact form online?

The bureau will contact you by email or phone within a fortnight. Please make contact if this does not happen. 

Can PASS help me if I've already complained to the NHS?

Yes, PASS can help you at any point in the complaints process. Your Patient Adviser will be able to advise you on when you can expect to hear back from the NHS and provide you with information about what you can do next. 

I can't make it to my local bureau. Do Patient Advisers make home visits?

Home visits can be arranged in some areas.  We can also be contacted by phone or email.

I live in an area that does not have a Citizens Advice Bureau. Can I still access PASS?

Yes. You can contact us by phone or by email. 

Can PASS help me complain on behalf of someone else?

Yes. We can give you advice and information on how to do this. You will need to have signed authorisation, be a legal guardian or have welfare Power of Attorney (POA). 

Can PASS help me complain on behalf of someone who has died?

Yes. We can advise and help you through the NHS process under these circumstances. 

Can I feedback positive comments on treatment received from the NHS with PASS?

Of course. An adviser will be happy to help you with this. 

Can PASS help with feedback about private healthcare or treatment?

No. For help giving feedback or raising a complaint about private healthcare, go online for more information and further assistance. Click here to find out more. 

What is the NHS complaints procedure?

Information on the NHS complaints procedure can be found on the Citizens Advice Scotland public advice website. Click here to find out more. 

What can I expect in response from the NHS?

The NHS may: 

  • Answer your questions/give you an explanation about what happened. 
  • Apologise. 
  • Review their procedures or policy highlighted to make a change. 
  • Improve the service they provide. 
  • Ask if you want to go to a meeting with them to discuss your complaint (PASS can accompany you to the meeting). 
What can I do if I am unhappy with the complaint response from the NHS?

You can ask the NHS to meet with you (we can help arrange this, help you prepare questions and may be able to come to the meeting with you) or you can take the complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (we can help you with this). 

How do I get access to my medical records?

For information on how to access your medical records go to the NHS inform website.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 917 2127