NHS Complaints Advocacy Services

January 2022: Please note that due to the number of people contacting our service us we are operating a waiting list for NHS Complaints Advocacy support. We are working as hard as we can, and it may be the end of February before we can speak to you about your complaint.
In the meantime, you can see our self-help information under the tabs below which includes a standard letter template and contact details for NHS organisations to submit a complaint yourself.

The patient can complain, but so too can their nominated representative. This may be a friend, relative or somebody else. The patient or patient’s representative can complain directly to the NHS service concerned or alternatively he or she can instruct an advocacy service (such as Healthwatch Calderdale) to raise a complaint on his or her behalf.

If the patient or patient’s representative chooses to make a complaint via an advocacy service, signed consent from the patient or patient’s representative will be required. This gives permission for the advocacy service to act upon behalf of the patient or patient’s representative with regard to the NHS complaint.

The best way to make a complaint is to contact the NHS service provider concerned. We have provided information on this page to help you do this, including a standard template letter. 

If this does not resolve the issue, or you feel you need more support you can contact Healthwatch Calderdale’s NHS Advocacy Service for advice, information and support.

We have created this NHS Complaints Advocacy question and answer form, which you can access by clicking here: Advocacy QA form v4

We require you to complete this form as part of our service.

You can also use it to send to any NHS organisation yourself.

You can find contact details on services you can make a complaint to by clicking here.

If there is a service you cannot find details for, you can contact us on 01444 399433 or email info@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk and we will assist you.


How Healthwatch Calderdale can help you:

We provide NHS Complaints Advocacy to assist those who would like support in making an NHS complaint. With your signed consent, we can act on your behalf regarding NHS complaints.  Our service is free, independent and confidential.

You must provide signed consent and fill in our Question and Answer form for us to assist you. You can find that here: Advocacy QA form v4

Our service can:

  • Provide you with information about how the NHS complaints service works (e.g. who is involved, the different stages of the complaints process, where to send your letter)
  • Give you the opportunity to speak confidentially about your complaint to a person who is independent of the NHS
  • Explain your options by providing access to information and communicating with you
  • Help you to express your view
  • Listen to your concerns and help you decide if you want to make a complaint
  • Help you identify the issues you wish to raise in your complaint
  • Help you write your complaint
  • Answer your questions about your NHS complaint to help you make decisions
  • Help you to understand what you can expect to achieve from the NHS complaints process
  • Prepare you for meetings about your complaint and attend these with you
  • Help you understand information, for example explaining responses and correspondence so that you understand what is happening and the process you are going through
  • Put you in touch with other people or services that might be able to help you

The type of support offered by our NHS Complaints Advocacy service will depend on the needs of the person. We may supply you with information or signpost you to other services, write letters on your behalf, offer 1:1 support and representation in meetings at critical stages of the complaints process and/or help you take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Our service cannot:

  • Help you claim compensation
  • Give legal or medical advice
  • Provide counselling
  • Help with complaints which are not covered by NHS Complaints Regulations such as privately funded treatment
  • Investigate complaints
  • Get an NHS employee disciplined


If you would like to find out more please contact us on via info@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk or 01422 399433.  Please provide as much detail about the circumstances of your complaint and we’ll advise from there. If there is no-one available to take your call then please leave a message on the answerphone.

The most direct method of making a complaint is to complain to the service provider who gave treatment to the patient.

If your complaint involves more than one health/care organisations the organisation that receives your complaint must then co-operate with the others to ensure you receive a full response.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust: They run both Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary services.

Write to: Patient Advice and Complaints Service (PACS) Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Calderdale Royal Hospital, The Old Chapel, Salterhebble, Halifax, HX3 0PW.
Email: patientadvice@cht.nhs.uk
Tel: 0800 013 0018

Complaints about GPs, dentists, pharmacists or opticians: It is best to approach the practice manager as soon after the incident as possible and they may be able to deal with your complaint quickly and easily. You can use our standard complaint template to base your complaint on.

If you have tried to resolve your complaint about GPs, dentists, pharmacists, or opticians and are not satisfied, or if you feel unable to complain directly to the service provider you can register an official complaint with NHS England

South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust: A range of Mental Health Services are delivered by South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust (SWFT), including inpatient care, community mental health services including some children’s mental health services and intensive home-based treatment.

Write to: Customer Services, South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust, Block 10, Fieldhead, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield, WF1 3SP
Tel: 0800 5872108
Email: customer.servicesSWYT@nhs.net

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group: They commission (buy) NHS health services for people in in Calderdale including:

  • Elective hospital care
  • Rehabilitation care
  • Urgent and emergency care
  • Most community health services
  • Mental health and learning disability services.

If your complaint is about services such as hospital care, mental health services, out of hours services and community services such as district nursing and you have tried to resolve your complaint about any of these services at local level and are not satisfied or if you feel unable to complain directly to the service provider you can register an official complaint contact Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Write to: Dr Matt Walsh, Chief Officer, NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, Fifth floor, F Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service & all West Yorkshire 111 service calls

Write to: Patient Relations Helpdesk, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Springhill 2, Brindley Way, Wakefield 41 Business Park, Wakefield, WF2 0XQ
Tel: 0333 1300549
Email: yas.patientrelations@nhs.net

Locala: Locala is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides some NHS community healthcare services to people in Calderdale

Write to: Customer Liaison Team, Locala Community Partnerships CIC, Freepost Plus RSTJ-EYJA-UCTB

The Care Quality Commission (CQC): The only complaints that the CQC can investigate relate to the those about use of powers or how duties have been carried out under the Mental Health Act.  It does not investigate any other complaints.
Write to: CQC Mental Health Act, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA.
Tel: 03000 616161

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman: If you are not satisfied with the final response you receive to your complaint or you still have not received the final complaint response after six months, then you have the right to pursue your complaint with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

General Medical Council (GMC): The General Medical Council (GMC) deals with the most serious concerns about doctors. These are concerns that might require a doctor’s registration to be restricted or removed to protect patients and to uphold public confidence in the medical profession.  You can raise a concern about a doctor with the GMC.  This is not part of the NHS complaints process and Healthwatch Calderdale cannot help you do this.

General Dental Council (GDC): The General Dental Council set and maintain standards in UK dentistry. Your dental professional must be registered and must continue to meet expectations throughout their careers.

The General Dental Council (GDC) can look into serious concerns about the ability, health or behaviour of a dental professional that suggest the professional could cause significant harm to patients, colleagues or the general public, or undermine public confidence in the dental profession.

Some common examples include serious or repeated mistakes in patient care, fraud, discrimination and any serious criminal offences or convictions.

It can also look into individuals who provide dental treatment (including tooth whitening), despite not being registered with the GDC. It can also look into individuals who provide dental treatment (including tooth whitening), despite not being registered with the GDC. This is not part of the NHS complaints process and Healthwatch Calderdale cannot help you do this.



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