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Making the complaints process easier

Post date: 21/04/2015 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 18/05/2020

MPS Complaints Adviser Sue Taylor explains how using the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can help practices

Our experience is that the changes made to the NHS advocacy arrangements in April 2013 are not always fully appreciated by practices.

The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) underwent a rebranding to what is now known as the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – and practices should be aware of how the service can help them.

How can the advocacy service help my practice?

Although advocates are there to assist complainants, a well-supported complainant can also make things easier for the practice. Part of the role of the advocacy service is to help complainants draft a letter of complaint and this results in a more carefully structured complaint with clearly defined issues.

Also, if you are dealing with a very complex complaint, particularly when multi-agencies are involved, the advocates are there to guide the complainant through the process. Advocates can also help to keep a discussion on track if you are meeting with the complainant, particularly when the situation is very emotional.

MPS advice

We would suggest that when you first receive a complaint you ensure that complainants are aware of this service as it could actually make the process just that little bit easier for everyone.

You should check that you have the correct contact details for the service in your area, as a number of the providers of the service changed. This information should be included in your complaints information literature for patients.

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