Lecturer in Dispute Resolution

Business School

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Gavin McBurnie (MB ChB MBA LLM) is a Lecturer in Dispute Resolution in the Queen Margaret Business School. He is also a full member of the Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests

Gavin McBurnie joined us from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) where, over seven years, he held a number of senior roles including Director of Clinical Advice, Interim ED of Operations, Director of Complex Investigations and Director of Systemic Investigations.

During his time at the PHSO Gavin was responsible for the significant increase in the number of investigations undertaken by the PHSO each year from 400 to 4000. His teams have also been responsible for several systemic reports on the management of sepsis, the care of the dying and the investigation by the NHS in England of complaints alleging serious harm or avoidable death.

Gavin is currently studying for a PhD here at QMU on the methods used by health ombudsmen in their 'system improvement' role.  He originally trained as a doctor at Glasgow Medical School, becoming a General Practitioner in Lancaster before returning to Edinburgh to study for an MBA prior to entering health service management.

Gavin has held a number of senior management roles within the NHS in both Scotland and England during which he held responsibility for the local management of complaints. His activities included the introduction of a revised NHS complaints system and mediation. Gavin also studied for an LLM at de Montfort University in Health Care Law, writing a thesis on the role of the PHSO in the regulation of healthcare.

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre membership:

Gavin is interested in complaint handling, in particular, the complaint handling by ombuds


Active research interests include:


Methods used by ombuds in system improvement role

Quality assurance of ombuds methods

Learning from complaints