How can an advocate help you?
How can an Advocate help you?
An Advocate can provide you with support, help and information if you have complaint about the NHS.
Advocates support people in a variety of ways and there is not a one size fits all approach as the Advocate will adapt the support they provide to your individual needs.
If you are thinking about making a complaint, but are unsure about what to do next, an Advocate can discuss your concerns and help you to identify the main points of your complaint and explain your options so that you can decide what you want to do and what you want to achieve by making a complaint.
If you decide you would like an Advocate to support you, they will always act on your instructions and respect your decision. Their role is to help you understand your options ad make sure you have all of the information available to you.
If you have spoken with an Advocate and have received information and help, you may feel comfortable making the complaint yourself. However, you can always contact us again at any stage of your complaint if you have further questions or require additional support.
Some people may not feel comfortable making the complaint themselves and they may need additional support. An Advocate can provide this support to you as they can:
- explore the options available to you at each stage of the complaints procedure
- help you to write an effective complaint letter and get it sent to the right person and place
- if a meeting is arranged ( for example a local resolution meeting) they can prepare you for the meeting (including ensuring that any necessary evidence and other material is available) and attend it with you
- contact and speak to third parties if the you would like them to on your behalf
- discuss the responses you receive to your complaint and find out if you are satisfied with the outcome of your complaint
- assist you in making a referral to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman ( PHSO) for an independent review of your complaint if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint from the NHS provider
- always explain to you what your options are so that you have all of the information available to help you make your own decision. An advocate will not try and persuade you to take a particular course of action and will always respect your decisions and act upon their instruction
- keep accurate records of all activities undertaken on behalf / with you to ensure your complaint progresses in a timely manner and you get the best outcome possible.
- Provide you with information on other services and organisations who may be able to help you.
The Independent Complaints Advocate is trained and works in accordance with the Code of Practice for Advocates.
Whilst an Advocates is here to support you in making your complaint, there are certain things that an Advocate cannot do: