The NHS and its staff do an amazing job, but sometimes care and treatment is not what is expected. If you would like to explore your care and treatment or make a complaint about an NHS service, then Healthwatch Calderdale’s NHS Complaints Advocacy service can offer you help to do that.
Who can complain?
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.
How to make a complaint
- The best way to make a complaint is to contact the NHS service provider concerned. We have provided information to help you do this, including contact details for local NHS providers and 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.
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.
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