Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS)

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Are you unhappy with the care and treatment that you, or someone else, is currently receiving or has received from the NHS? Do you want to complain and get things put right?

The statutory IHCAS works within the NHS complaints regulations.

Our IHCAS Advocates can help you to use this process to raise your concerns.

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy is:

  • free
  • independent
  • confidential 

This service is also delivered to prisoners in HMP Belmarsh, HMP Thameside and HMP: Young Offenders Institute Isis.

IHCAS can: 

  • listen to your concerns 
  • signpost you to the right organisations outside of the complaint process if you need these
  • answer any questions about the complaints procedure and explain your options
  • provide a step-by-step guide to the complaints process and some self-help tools
  • provide you with a POhWER advocate, who can help you to make your complaint and support you through the NHS complaint process 
  • support you to make a complaint about care and treatment provided or funded by the NHS 
  • support you to make a complaint on someone else’s behalf if they would like you to 
  • support you to raise and ask questions following a death
  • support a young person under 16 if they have capacity to reach their own decisions* 

*If a child does not have the capacity to make a decision about their treatment, only a parent or guardian may complain on behalf of their child without permission. 

IHCAS cannot:

  • guarantee that a complaint will be investigated if it is over 12 months old 
  • investigate complaints 
  • give legal advice
  • give medical advice
  • provide counselling
  • help with issues not covered by NHS complaints regulations, such as privately funded treatment, personnel matters, such as getting staff disciplined or contractual matters
  • help with legal action and matters relating to compensation
  • provide a secretarial service

How to refer

Directly by telephone
Editable PDF / Word document Download Form

Referral methods: Email

Complete referral form and send by email.


Self-referral Download Form

Complete referral form and send by email.


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