Everyone has the right to make a complaint about their care and treatment under the NHS if they are not happy with the service they have received, and there is a process set down for this. Not everyone is able to do this by themselves and so our team of NHS Complaints Advocates is available so support people through the process.
This can be a problem with your GP, hospital treatment, dentist, mental health service, pharmacy, ambulance service or any other NHS funded service. We can help you get answers to questions about what went wrong, ask for an apology and reassurances that it won’t happen again. We are not there to help people get compensation or to take legal action or get NHS professionals sacked however.
It may be because you are going through treatment, you have been bereaved, you have a mental health or learning difficulty or English isn’t your first language. We can support anyone and there are no eligibility criteria. The service is free of charge and we are independent of the NHS.
Information is available through our Self Help Information Pack on our website or via our contact centre. Just call or e mail us and we can talk you through it and get the support set up.
Our advocates can support you to write a letter, help you understand the response, give you options about what you can do next, attend a meeting with you and help to ensure that your voice is heard and that you can better understand what went wrong for you and that it won’t happen again. Having someone ‘on your side’ can make a big difference to how the process works and our clients tell us that the support of an advocate makes a huge difference to them and their ability and self-confidence to manage the process.
Your complaint can be relating to a wide range of issues such as about the care and treatment you have received, problems with getting appointments or treatment you feel you are entitled to or lack of communication or the attitude of staff. We won’t tell you what to do or decide on your behalf if you have a valid complaint. It is your decision to go forward and we will support you in that without making a judgement ourselves.
We won’t give you advice, or tell you what to do, but will support you to make informed choices by giving you the alternatives available for what you can do so that you can decide yourself what is the best course of action for you. We will support you to go forward in the way you want to so that you remain in control of the complaint.