The number of people unhappy with health services in Tayside has risen to the highest level since 2006, figures have revealed.
NHS Tayside received 910 complaints last year from patients disappointed about the service they received from their doctor, dentist, pharmacist or optician.
This marks the highest number of complaints received by the health board since 2005/06 and an increase on the 857 recorded during 2012/13.
Nearly two-thirds of complaints received were about GPs with “advice/treatment provided” listed as the top cause for concern.
Dr Jean Turner, executive director of the Scottish Patients Association, described the rising number of complaints as “a serious matter”.
Patients in Tayside were most unhappy about the service they received from their GPs with 602 complaints lodged last year. But 139 complaints were also recorded against pharmacists, 91 regarding opticians and 78 about dentists.
Nearly 200 people complained about the advice or treatment they received and 162 service users lodged grievances about prescribing/dispensing issues.
Patients were also unhappy about access to health services across the region with 122 complaints recorded, while 107 complaints were made about staff comments/attitude.
Dr Turner said it was “a worry” that the number of complaints was rising.
She added: “It’s certainly disappointing. More and more people are now dealing with complaints rather than the health board asking ‘why are we having more complaints?’
“It certainly will not be comforting for patients to see complaints rising.”
Of the complaints lodged in Tayside, 92 per cent were responded to within 20 days.
There are 79 complaints from last year which are still classed as ‘open’. Despite the increasing number of complaints, NHS Tayside also received a total of 257 formal compliments last year nearly double the number received during 2012/13.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “As a requirement under the Patients Rights Act (Scotland) contractors themselves are responsible for managing and responding to feedback, including complaints, about their services.
“Therefore the majority of complaints about these services are not processed by NHS Tayside’s complaints and feedback team, although there is good communication and systems in place to ensure anything which comes into the complaints team is passed on appropriately.”