ICAS – NHS Complaints

ICAS (Independent Complaints Advocacy Service)


What is an NHS Complaints Service Advocate?

The role of the ICA is to help to safeguard the rights of clients as set out in both health policy and law,  empowering clients to self-advocate as far as they are able, supporting clients to get their views heard and in seeking resolution to issues which concern them through the process of Local Resolution.  This will include:

  • provision of self-help information
  • Help clients access the information they need
  • Providing assistance with letter writing, form filling etc.
  • acting or speaking on behalf of a client if they request it
  • attendance at meetings
  • Ensuring clients have access to the support they need to articulate their concerns and navigate the NHS complaints system
  • Helping the client to understand:
    • What they can expect from the service and what the service expects from the client
    • What they can expect from the NHS complaints procedure and where other advocacy/support services can provide more specialist advice
    • The core service principles of independence and confidentiality
    • Their options by providing full and balanced information to enable then to make decisions and choices
  • Providing contact at each of the following points or activities in the NHS complaints procedure, by:
    • Identifying what the available options and possible outcomes are, and deciding which option to take
    • Making the complaint to the appropriate health provider
    • Deciding how to proceed with the complaint, following the Trust’s initial response
    • Supporting clients during the local resolution phase by attending meetings or entering into correspondence
    • Making a complaint to the Care Quality Commission
    • Supporting the Independent Review stage by attending meetings or entering into correspondence
    • Making a complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman
    • Understanding the Health Service Ombudsman’s final decision

The Provider is not required to provide on-going advocacy for clients outside of the health related complaint. However, they will be required to suggest appropriate referrals for clients who require alternative, additional or specialist support. This may include referrals to PALS, professional bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) and to specialist support such as medico-legal advice, bereavement support, mental health support and other advice and support as necessary.



NHS ICA Clients

The Service will provide support to any adult in their own right or on behalf of a child, family member or carer with a complaint about an NHS funded service that are in need of NHS complaints advocacy and who is ordinarily resident in Derbyshire including Derby City.




If you wish to make a referral for this type of advocate then please fill in or download our NHS Complaints form from the referral forms page and submit it to us either via email or post.