Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy


NHS Complaints Advocacy

NHS Complaints Advocacy

Although most people using the health service are happy with their care and treatment, things can sometimes go wrong. If you’re not satisfied with the service you’ve experienced from a hospital, doctor, dentist, local surgery or any other NHS provider, you are entitled to complain about it. 

Who is the service for?
By law, anyone who wishes to complain about an NHS service is entitled to receive advocacy to help them make their complaint. Healthwatch Warrington’s Advocacy is a free, confidential and independent advocacy service, available to all residents of Warrington. We help people understand what their options are and to support them through the NHS complaints process to ensure they get the best possible resolution. We provide information and support to help people understand their rights and make informed choices

when making a complaint.
What support does an advocate provide?
An advocate provides free, confidential and independent support, and will provide you with information to help you make informed choices to help you navigate through the NHS complaints process.
The Advocate’s role is to:
• Explore the options available to you at each stage of the complaints procedure.
• Answer your questions to help you make informed decisions
• Help you to write effective letters to the right people.
• Prepare you for any meetings (including ensuring that any necessary evidence and other material are available) and attend with you if required.
• Contact and speak to third parties, on your request
• Monitor the progress of your complaint, ensuring it progresses in a timely manner
• Discuss response letters received t make sure you are satisfied with the outcome
• Assist you with submissions to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
An Advocate cannot:
 Give you legal or medical advice
 Provide counselling
 Help you complain about a private healthcare provider
 Get an NHS employee disciplined
 Provide a secretarial service

Not everyone making a complaint about the NHS will need an advocate. Sometimes, you may just need some information. If you decide you want to make a complaint yourself, you may find our Self-Help Information Pack useful.
Download Self-Help Information Pack here
How do I get support from an advocate?

If you decide that you would like the support of an advocate, please complete and return our referral form either by email: or post to Healthwatch Warrington Advocacy, The Gateway, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1SR.

You can also make a referral for someone else, but please get their permission first.

If you need further information or support, call: 01925 246 893 (Lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. An answerphone operates outside of these times.)

Our leaflets
Self-Help Information Pack

Warrington ICAS consent form  - Word

Warrington ICAS consent form  - PDF

NHS complaints advocacy leaflet

Useful resources

If you want to find out more about the NHS constitution and your rights under the NHS complaints procedure, you can refer to the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

You can read more about your rights and what to expect in the NHS Constitution for England and the NHS complaints guidance .

The NHS Choices website also has information about feedback and complaints on their website.

If you have already made your complaint and received a response which you remain unhappy with, you may wish to contact the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman. who make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is:

  • Ensuring people are able to have their voice heard on issues that are important to them
  • Making sure that any decisions being taken about a person genuinely take into account their views, wishes and feelings
  • Safeguarding and defending a person’s rights
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