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NHS Complaints Advocacy

Our NHS Complaints Advocates are there to help you understand and support you through the NHS complaints process.

Our service provides you with the information you need so that you, or someone you know, can pursue a complaint by yourself or with the support of an experienced advocate.If you have particular needs, please let us know what these are and we will do our best to meet them.

The NHS has a specific complaints procedure for when you wish to complain about your healthcare. An NHS complaint might be about an issue or incident with:

  • Doctors (GP) surgeries and their staff
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Opticians
  • Hospital services
  • Care home placement which is NHS funded
  • Specialist services
  • Paramedics or ambulance services
  • NHS Community staff
  • Other NHS staff or clinicians.

Advocates aim to enable you to have the information, confidence and skills to make your complaint.

Advocates can help you explore your options at the different complaint stages and can give you information that can help you to decide what you want to do.

What does an Advocate do?

  • Throughout the complaints process an Advocate might also do some or all of the following:
  • Give you information about different NHS complaints processes
  • Help you to put together the issues you want to raise in your complaint
  • Help you understand the different options you have in raising you concerns
  • Where appropriate we will meet you face- to-face to discuss your complaint
  • Support you during the complaints process by writing letters, attending meetings and supporting you to decide what to do at each stage
  • Give you the opportunity to speak in confidence to someone who is independent of the NHS
  • Put you in touch with other people or services that could offer more help and guidance
  • Help you to monitor the progress of your complaint with the organization or individual responsible

NHS Complaints Advocacy is free, confidential and independent of the NHS

Can I complain on behalf of somebody else like a child, friend or relative?

You can complain on behalf of a child less than 18 years old. The organisation you are complaining to must be confident the child cannot complain themselves before they consider the complaint. You can also make a complaint on behalf of a friend or relative but they will need to agree to this in writing. If the person may lack mental capacity, the NHS may need confirmation to respond.

Just need some advice?

Not everyone needs the support of an Advocate to make their complaint. For example, some people just want to know how the complaint system works or know who they should send a letter of complaint to.

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