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Independent Health Complaints Advocacy


Supporting you if you have not had the service you expected from a service provided or paid for by the NHS.

The National Health Service (NHS) works hard to treat everybody the way they would want to be treated, and in good time. But sometimes things don’t happen the way we want them to.

If you are unhappy with the service you, or someone else, has received from the NHS, you have the right to raise your concerns about it. This may include GP, hospital, ambulance, dentistry or optician services provided by the NHS.

If the NHS doesn’t know what it’s doing wrong, then it can’t put it right and stop the same thing from happening to someone else.

If you decide to make a complaint, you should do so within 12 months of the incident you are complaining about. Or within 12 months of you realising how what happened has affected you.

The NHS will sometimes look at complaints that are outside of these timescales.

How can The Advocacy People help?

If you would like the support of an advocate, have a look at our Factsheet, which tells you what an advocate can do. If you would like to make the complaint yourself, or have started the process already, take a look at our Self Help Information Pages. To find out if we provide this service in your area, have a look at our map here ​ If we don’t provide the service in your area, there will be someone else who does.

Who can refer?

Anyone can make a complaint about their NHS care.

If they are not able to do this themselves, someone else can do it for them. Usually we will need the person’s consent, but we understand that sometimes this isn’t possible.

If you are under 16, and you can show you are able to make up your own mind about NHS treatment or care, you can refer yourself. We hope you will chat with your parents or someone you trust when making a complaint, but you can choose not to.

How to refer

We won’t be able to work on your complaint until we have your written consent. We also like to understand a little bit about your complaint.

If you would like to speak someone first, our phone number is at the top of the page or have a look at our Contact page.

When you’re ready to refer, click through to our Make a Referral page.

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