Advocacy is when someone makes sure that your opinion and experiences are properly heard by health or social services. They can also make contact with organisations on your behalf if you are not comfortable doing this, and will make sure that none of the things you want to say get forgotten or missed or ignored.
Contact your local carer service and ask if advocacy is something they can support you with. Or they may be able to put you in touch with other local organisations that provide advocacy.
Some advocacy organisations advocate for specific groups of people, for example carers or people with mental ill health (see MIND).
Carers UK has a self-advocacy guide for carers called Being Heard which provides information and suggests way to help carers advocate for themselves.
Advocacy for NHS complaints in England
- The NHS Complaints Advocacy service can help if you want someone to support you when you make an NHS complaint.
- Your local Healthwatch will also be able to help you make a complaint. Find your nearest local Healthwatch.
- The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can give you information about the NHS complaints procedure. Search for your nearest PALS online.
Advocacy for NHS complaints in Northern Ireland
If you live in Northern Ireland your local Patient and Client Council will support you if you have a concern about any part of Health and Social Care care. Find contact details for your Patient and Client Council.
Advocacy for NHS complaints in Scotland
- Your local Patient Advice and Support Service can help you make complaints about the treatment you have received from the NHS.
- The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance can also help you to find an independent advocate, or give more information on what advocacy is.
Advocacy for NHS complaints in Wales
Your Community Health Council can help, advise and support you if you wish to make a complaint about the NHS in Wales.
Next update due: January 2022