By law, people who wish to complain about the care and/or treatment they receive from the NHS are entitled to free, independent, and confidential advocacy services to help them make their complaint.
Advocacy is defined as "giving active support". This is the role of our Complaints Advocacy Service who are here to support you if you are not satisfied with any aspect of NHS care that you have received and wish to make a complaint.
All our complaints advocacy staff are trained. Our complaints advocates have or are working towards the National Advocacy Qualification. CHC’s deliver the complaints advocacy service locally in line with national standards set by the Board of CHCs in Wales.
Our complaints advocacy service can:
Our complaints advocacy service can’t:
Even if we are not able to help with an issue, we may be able to signpost you to someone else who can help. Please do ask us.
The NHS Wales concerns process “Putting things right” is designed to help people to get their concerns heard and where possible, resolved.
It encourages people to talk to their healthcare provider who may be able to get something put right there and then. If you’re not sure, you can contact us and we will help you find the right person to talk to.
Our complaints advocacy service can help you at any stage in the NHS Wales concerns process.
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.
What 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.
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:
Or anyone else who needs help with their NHS concern.