If you cannot resolve your concern informally, or you would prefer to raise your concern formally our complaints advocacy service can help you. Usually you need to raise your concern within 12 months of the events that you want to complain about. However, there may be occasions where the NHS body will consider your concern outside of these timescales.
If you are dissatisfied with the final response provided by the NHS you can take your complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW).
The Ombudsman is able to consider complaints made to him within one year of the matters complained about (or within one year of the complainant becoming aware of the issue).
If your complaint is about something that happened more than a year ago, but you complained to the Health Board (or Trust) within one year, you should complain to the Ombudsman within twelve weeks of the Health Board’s (or Trust’s) response.
Depending on your needs we can support you with any or all of the following:
You may feel that you need a bit of help to find information, for example asking for a copy of any relevant medical records.
Concerns are sometimes about things that are very distressing and the process of raising a concern can seem very daunting. Sometimes people find it helps to talk through their concerns and how the process works with someone who is knowledgeable, empathetic and independent.
A concern is more likely to be resolved quickly and successfully if it is expressed clearly. We can help you work out what you want to say and help you draft letters.
Sometimes it is necessary to meet with NHS staff as part of the concerns process. This can feel daunting and sometimes upsetting. We can support you to prepare for and attend meetings with NHS staff so that you can make the most of the opportunity to discuss your concerns.
We will provide the type and level of support that you need, based on our discussions with you. For example you may feel that, because of a disability, ill health, communication or language barriers, grief or other reasons, you need more support from a complaints advocate throughout the process. Alternatively, once you have talked your concerns through with an advocate you may feel happy to continue without support.
We work with anyone who lives in Wales and is over 18 years old, no matter what their needs, including but not exclusively, people who have:
Or anyone else who needs help with their NHS concern.
When you first contact us, one of our staff will talk to you about your concern, what sort of help you think you require and if you have any particular needs such as large print materials or access to someone who can sign.
If we are able to help you, we will explain what assistance our service is able to provide. If we are unable to help you we will try to signpost you to someone who can.
If you decide that you would like the support of our advocacy service you will be asked to complete an authorisation form. On receipt of your signed authorisation, you will be contacted by one of our advocates who will discuss your concerns in further detail and agree a way forward.