Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland

You can, We can, ICAN

If you need to raise concerns or make a complaint about NHS healthcare you have received, ICAN (Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland) is here to help.

The National Health Service (NHS) works hard to treat everyone properly and promptly, and the majority of people who use the health service are happy with their treatment.

However, sometimes things can go wrong.

By raising your concerns you can help to put things right and ensure the NHS can learn from your experience.

ICAN is a free service and can help you to make a complaint about any aspect of your NHS care or treatment.

Our detailed guide below is free to download, and will support you through the process ICAN Guide

Contact Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland at Adapt (North East) on 01434 600599.

Who can complain?

Any patient can make a complaint if they are unhappy with services received from the NHS. Our advocates can help you to complain about treatment you have received from your GP, a hospital or services based in the community such as dentists or opticians.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to make a complaint on behalf of another person (please see below for more information).

Can I complain on behalf of a friend or relative?
You may complain on behalf of another person as long as they agree; you should get their permission in writing.

What if they are unable to give permission?
If you wish to make a complaint on behalf of somebody who is unable to give consent due to illness, impairment or disability, you may do so without their permission, though the NHS Trust will confirm the patient’s lack of capacity before accepting the complaint.

If they do not accept the complaint they must inform you in writing why this decision has been reached.

Am I able to make a complaint about the treatment of somebody who has died?
Yes.  You may make a complaint on behalf of somebody who is deceased, even if you were unable to get their permission before they died.

In some circumstances, the NHS may decide not to accept you as a suitable representative. If this happens they will discuss their reasons with you.

Can I make a complaint on behalf of someone who is under 18?
You may make a complaint on behalf of a child (under 18) only if the child is unable to do so themselves.

NHS organisations must not consider a complaint made by a representative of a child unless they are sure the child is unable to do so. If they do not accept the complaint they must inform you in writing why this decision has been reached.

When should I complain?

You should make your complaint

• Within 12 months of the incident happening
• Within 12 months of realising you had something to complain about

NHS organisations my allow an extended time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier, for example, if you were too ill to make a complaint at the time.

Can I complain if I received treatment in a private hospital?
If the NHS paid for your treatment in a private hospital then you may still complain to the NHS. If you paid for the treatment yourself, or with private medical insurance, then you cannot complain to the NHS. The private hospital will have its own complaints procedure which you should follow.

Am I able to sue?
If you wish to make a claim for clinical negligence you will need to take legal action; the NHS Complaints Procedure does not deal with these cases.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PSHO) make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England, UK government departments and some other UK public organisations. You can complain to PSHO if you believe there has been injustice or hardship because an organisation has not acted properly or fairly or has given you a poor service and not put things right.

For more information please visit www.ombudsman.org.uk or watch the videos below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCyVfeQsbwc

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