The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is a free and independent service that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).
Most of us use the NHS at some point in our lives and many of us use them quite regularly.
The NHS work hard to make sure that people are satisfied with their services and receive good quality treatment.
But things can go wrong.
You may want to complain about a service you have received from the NHS, or you might want to complain on someone else’s behalf. There are different ways to do this.
Our information will help you understand what your options are and how to get the best resolution for you.
Who is the service for?
By law, anyone who wishes to complain about an NHS service is entitled to receive advocacy to help them make their complaint.
How we can help:
We can provide you with information and a self-help pack so you can make a complaint yourself, or you might decide that you need support to make a complaint. Our advocates can work with you to ensure you understand your options and help you to achieve the outcome you are seeking.
Together for Mental Wellbeing has developed some step-by-step guidance to help you feel confident about raising any concerns yourself. You can download the guidance here.
- First Steps – things to think about before making a complaint to the NHS
- Making a Complaint – guidance on the process for making a complaint to the NHS, as well as what do to if you are unhappy with the response
- Help and Support – information on where to go for further guidance and support for making a complaint.
A set of resources are also available to help you in the complaints process:
- Consent Form – for gaining consent to progress an NHS complaint on behalf of a friend, relative or partner
- Accessing Medical Records Guidance – which may be helpful for providing evidence when making your complaint
- Complaint Letter Template – as well as tips for writing the letter and keeping track of correspondence
- Log Sheet – for keeping a record of important conversations and agreements throughout the complaints process
You can ask for an advocate to assist you at any point in your complaint. If you would like an advocate to work with you, please contact the local team.
- Give you an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone independent of the NHS
- Explore the options available to you at every stage of the complaints procedure
- Help you with writing effective letters to the right people
- Prepare you for meetings and attend with you
- Contact and speak to third parties if you wish us to
- Help you to think about whether you are happy with the responses you receive from the NHS organisation.
Your advocate will not try to persuade you to take a particular course of action and will always respect your decisions.
Accessing the service
Anyone can make a referral for the NHS Complaints Advocacy service. If you are making a referral for someone other than yourself you will need their consent to do so.