Carers Rights Day: Share the Burden of making an NHS Complaint

Carers Rights Day is all about ensuring that carers know their rights and what support is available for them. If someone you care for has not had the NHS care or treatment expected and they have agreed for you to make a complaint on their behalf, NHS complaints advocates give you confidential independent and free support throughout the complaints process.

Our NHS Complaints Advocates provide clear and accessible information about the complaints process and your rights so you can decide what to do.

Advocacy ensures you have a voice.

‘You don’t have to do it all yourself’

It can often be difficult to ask for help as a carer. Advocates are there to provide one-to-one support throughout the NHS complaints process, which can often be a very difficult process to face alone.

Charlotte got in touch with the NHS Complaints Advocacy team after a lack of joined-up services meant her daughter Emmie was discharged with an undiagnosed condition and no sign of any further support.

‘Will I be heard?’

Advocacy is all about making sure you have a voice. NHS complaints advocates can help carers to draft letters of complaints, and can also attend meetings with NHS staff, to ensure your voice is being heard and you are being listened to.

An NHS Complaints Advocate helped Charlotte to understand how the complaints process worked and what to expect. The advocate worked with her to gather all the information needed to write a letter of complaint to the NHS Trust, clearly setting out what her expectations were to get the right referral and diagnosis for her daughter.

‘Will I be believed? Will I make treatment worse for my cared for?’

Many carers often feel too scared to complain, because they feel complaining will have a direct effect on future services for those that they care for.

Complaining can be a positive and uplifting process whereby your strength to speak out against poor care or treatment can lead to long-lasting benefits to future people using this service. You have the right to make a complaint against NHS services received, and this will not affect future treatment for those you care for.

Charlotte said that having an advocate there to back her up helped her to feel empowered and confident in making her complaint to a major NHS Trust. Emmie now has the referral she needs to see a specialist team.

If you want to speak confidentially to us about making a complaint about a hospital, GP, Dentist or any NHS-funded service, call our Helpline on 0300 330 5454, email us at or visit for more information and a range of self-help tools.



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Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EW
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020 7708 4497

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Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).

Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle

Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45