Commissioning NHS Complaints Advocacy

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires all local authorities with adult social care responsibilities to “make such arrangements as it considers appropriate for the provision of independent advocacy in relation to its area” in the provision of assistance for individuals making or intending to make an NHS complaint. This covers all NHS services, including:

  • NHS trusts, including NHS foundation trusts
  • primary health care services provided for the NHS by GPs, dentists, opticians and community pharmacies
  • clinical commissioning groups
  • private health care organisations if the treatment has been paid for by the NHS
  • all other health services commissioned by the NHS.

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Best Practice Guidelines

In 2016, VoiceAbility led the instigation and development of new Practice Guidelines for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (NHS Complaints Advocacy).

These Guidelines were created in partnership with local authorities, advocacy organisations and the Local Government Association who voluntarily came together to develop national practice guidance with which to benchmark local independent health complaints advocacy services.

The Guidelines provide a baseline to promote consistency, quality and access to the service and detail core characteristics, impact, outcome and performance measurements of an effective service.