We use professional advisers when looking at some of our complaints. In 2016-17, a bank of independent, Scotland-based professional advisers was set up that provides our investigators with advice on health matters, including specialist advisers in medicine, midwifery, mental health, obstetrics and gynaecology, dentistry, nursing, social work, psychiatry and GP services. There are also advisers who specialise in planning, equalities, environmental health and water services. The benefit of using advisers based in Scotland is that they are fully aware of the Scottish context, which can be different from that elsewhere in the UK. It also allows us to access advice directly and quickly. We can also access the English Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s panel of clinical advisers, which covers a wider range of specialisms.
Advisers provide us with independent expert advice on what it was reasonable to expect in the circumstances of a case. They may explain technical terms and information or point us to relevant guidance and legislation. We take their advice into account along with all other evidence and information in deciding whether to uphold a complaint.
Updated: July 12, 2017