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Health Complaints Service

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Health Complaints Service
The Health Complaints Service can help if you feel that you have not had the service you expect from the National Health Service (NHS) and you want to make a complaint. When your health care is provided by the NHS you are allowed to make a complaint using the NHS Complaints Procedure. An NHS complaint might including something that happened during care or treatment at:
  The hospital.
  Your General Practitioner (GP).
  The dentist.
  The pharmacist.
  The optician.
  An NHS funded care home.
What do we do?
  We are a free, independent and confidential service providing support and information to people who want to make an NHS complaint. This might mean giving you information so you can pursue a complaint by yourself or by giving you the support of an experienced advocate who can help you make a complaint.

Not everyone needs the support of an advocate. Some people just want to know how the complaints system works or who they should send a complaint letter to. Everyone who contacts us for help with an NHS complaint is entitled to...
  A step by step guide on how the complaints system works.
  Information on how to access your medical records.
  Guidance on how to put together a complaint letter. 
  A leaflet containing useful addresses.
This may be enough to make the complaint yourself. Anybody who makes a complaint by themselves is entitled to contact us at any stage of the process for more information or to ask for an advocate.
How could the Health Complaints Service help me?
A health complaint advocate works with you so that you feel confident to make a complaint. We will help you to explore your options at every stage of your complaint and can give you information that can help you to decide what to do.

Throughout the complaints process an advocate might also do some or all of the following...
  Help you put together all the issues you wish to raise in your complaint.
  Help you write letters to people in regards to your complaint.
  Prepare you for meeting and attend these with you.
  Answer your questions to help you make decisions.
  Give you the opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent of the NHS.
  Meet you face to face to discuss your complaint.
  Provide you with information about how the NHS Complaints Procedure works.
  Help you to find out the progress of your complaint with the organisation or individual responsible.
  Help you to understand what you can expect to achieve from the NHS complaints process.
  Put you in touch with other people or services that may be to help you.
Can I complain on behalf of someone else?
You can complain on behalf of a friend or relative but they will need to agree this in writing. If the person you are complaining for lacks capacity, the organisation you are complaining to will check the patient's capacity before responding to the complaint.

A child can also make a complaint and a health complaint advocate can help them with this. You can only complain on behalf of a child under the age of 18 if the organisation you are complaining to is confident the child cannot make the complaint themselves.
Who can access the service?
The Health Complaints Service is available to people who live in the Blackpool area and who want to make a complaint about NHS care or treatment that was accessed anywhere in the UK. If you are unsure whether you can access the service please look at our Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

If you require further information regarding our service or are unsure if you can make a referral we are happy to help. To speak to a member of the advocacy team please call 0300 323 2100 - select option 2 (local rate call).
How do I make a referral to the service?
You can make a referral in two easy ways...
  Email - Download and complete our referral form and email it back to admin@empowermentcharity.org.uk
  Telephone - Simply call 0300 323 2100 - select option 1 (local rate call) and ask to make a referral to our Health and Social Care Advocacy service.
Download resources
  NHS Complaints - A step by step guide »
  How to access your medical records »
  What to expect when you go to a meeting »
  Writing a complaint letter »
  Log Sheet »
  Form of Authority »
  PALS Information »
  Useful Contacts »
  PHSO Principles of good complaint handling »
This service is funded by Blackpool Council
Page last updated: May 2014