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Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy

The National Health Service (NHS) provides care and treatment in a range of settings and services. Many people who use an NHS service are happy with their care and treatment however, there may be times where this is not the case.

If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received for example from a hospital, doctor or local surgery or you’ve been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply.

The NHS Constitution explains your rights when it comes to making a complaint. You have the right to:

It’s important if you’re not happy with any aspect of your care and treatment that you raise your concerns or make a complaint. This will enable services to learn from your experiences.

NHS Complaints Advocacy leaflet

Download the NHS Complaints Advocacy leaflet

Making an NHS complaint guidance

Download the Making an NHS complaint guidance

Writing an NHS complaint guidance

Download the Writing an NHS complaint guidance

How Can We Help?

Mind in Salford provides free, independent and confidential NHS Complaints Advocacy that can support you to raise your concerns or make a complaint. As our service is independent of the NHS you can speak in confidence to an advocate.

Information on the complaints process is on our website www.www.mindinsalford.org.uk.

An advocate can help you in the following ways:

Advocates work under instruction which means we listen to what you want.

When should I complain?

You should complain as soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you’re complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.

The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it’s still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier for e.g. you were too ill.

Where Do I Start?

Before starting the complaints process it is important to be clear about what aspect of the service you have received you are unhappy with. This may include:

For example:

The NHS Complaints Procedure cannot be used in the following:

Who can complain?

You can complain about any NHS service you have received that you have been unhappy with. Usually you should make the complaint yourself; however, someone else can make a complaint on your behalf provided you have given them your written permission. If someone is ill or does not have capacity you do not need their written permission to raise a concern or make a complaint.

You can still make a complaint if the person the complaint relates to has died.

If you are under 18 you can complain independently. If for any reason you need help to complain you can ask someone else to make your complaint with your permission.

Who should I complain to?

You can complain to either the Provider or the Commissioner of the health service you are unhappy about.

The provider is the organisation that provides the service to you, for instance a GP, dentist, pharmacist or a hospital.

You can raise a concern or make a complaint by:

NHS Complaints Procedure

Since April 2009, the NHS complaints process has had two stages.

Stage 1: Local Resolution

Local Resolution is important because it gives you an opportunity to explain what you are unhappy about and what you would like to happen. This may be an explanation of what when wrong, an apology or improvements to current practices and procedures. The aim of the NHS Complaints Procedure is to resolve issues at a local level where possible and many complaints are resolved at this stage.

Stage 2: The Health Service Ombudsman

If after progressing through stage 1 of the complaints procedure you are still unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), which is independent of the NHS and government. If you would like more information about the Health Service Ombudsman you can visit their website: www.ombudsman.org.uk or by telephone on 0345 015 4033.

Contact Info

Mind in Salford
The Angel Centre
1 St. Philips Place
Salford
M3 6FA

0161 212 4880
info@mindinsalford.org.uk

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