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How CHCs can help you raise a concern about NHS services

Our complaints advocacy service can help you at any stage in the NHS Wales concerns process.

The key stages are:

Raise your concern with the service provider: If you cannot resolve your concern informally, or you would prefer to raise your concern formally our complaints advocacy service can help you.

Making a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales: If you are dissatisfied with the final response provided by the NHS you can take your complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW).

What Sort of Support Can We Offer?

Depending on your needs we can support you with any or all of the following:

  • Find information relevant to your concern.

You may feel that you need a bit of help to find information, for example asking for a copy of any relevant medical records.

  • Think through your concerns, the concerns process and what you might realistically achieve.

Concerns are sometimes about things that are very distressing and the process of raising a concern can seem very daunting. Sometimes people find it helps to talk through their concerns and how the process works with someone who is knowledgeable, empathetic and independent.

  • Write letters

A concern is more likely to be resolved quickly and successfully if it is expressed clearly. We can help you work out what you want to say and help you draft letters.

  • Attend NHS concerns meetings.

Sometimes it is necessary to meet with NHS staff as part of the concerns process. This can feel daunting and sometimes upsetting. We can support you to prepare for and attend meetings with NHS staff so that you can make the most of the opportunity to discuss your concerns.

We will provide the type and level of support that you need, based on our discussions with you. For example you may feel that, because of a disability, ill health, communication or language barriers, grief or other reasons, you need more support from a complaints advocate throughout the process. Alternatively, once you have talked your concerns through with an advocate you may feel happy to continue without support.

We work with anyone who lives in Wales and is over 18 years old, no matter what their needs, including but not exclusively, people who have:

  • Mental health issues
  • Learning difficulties
  • Sensory disabilities
  • Little or no english and different cultural backgrounds
  • Suffered a bereavement.

Or anyone else who needs help with their NHS concern.

Our complaints advocacy staff have access to:

  • Secure case management and reporting systems
  • Letter templates
  • Interpreting facilities
  • Communications kits and other resources.

How the process works

When you first contact the CHC Advocacy Service, one of our staff will talk to you about your concern, what sort of help you think you require and if you have any particular needs such as large print materials or access to someone who can sign.

If we are able to help you, we will explain what assistance our service is able to provide. If we are unable to help you we will try to signpost you to someone who can.

If you decide that you would like the support of our advocacy service you will be asked to complete an authorisation form. On receipt of your signed authorisation, you will be contacted by one of our advocates who will discuss your concerns in further detail and agree a way forward.

Board of Community Health Councils in Wales, 3rd Floor, 33 - 35 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HB
Phone: 02920 235 558 Email:

This page is also available in Welsh. Please click on ‘Cymraeg’ at the top of the page
We welcome correspondence in Welsh, and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to delay