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Independent Health Complaints Advocacy service

Most of us use the NHS at some point in our lives and many of us use these services regularly. Whilst the NHS works hard to make sure that people are satisfied with the services sometimes things do go wrong. The NHS complaints procedure is in place to make sure that issues are resolved at a local level.

We understand that you might need support to make a complaint about an NHS Service. We are able to provide free, confidential and independent support and assistance to people who live in Surrey.

Healthwatch Surrey has commissioned us to provide this service.

What do we do?

Advocates aim to help you represent your own interests and can support you through the whole NHS complaints process. They can explain what options are open to you and then support you to take whatever action you need to.
Throughout the process we want to ensure that:

  • You are in control of decisions which are made about you
  • Your experiences, views, wishes and feelings are heard
  • You can contribute to improving the health and care services you use


Our advocates will only do what you ask them to and will not try to tell you what to do.

We can:

  • Answer your questions to help you make decisions
  • Send you an information pack that explains the full process
  • Help you write letters to the right people
  • Provide you with one to one support and explain your options
  • Prepare you for meetings and attend with you
  • Monitor the progress of your complaint and help you to get the best possible resolution

Please note that we cannot:

  • Give you legal or medical advice
  • Provide counselling
  • Help you complain about a private healthcare provider
  • Get an NHS employee disciplined
  • Provide a secretarial service

Advocacy Fast Facts - Below are three Fast Facts, one for each stage of the complaints process and how we can assist you throughout [PDF format].

Advocacy Fast Facts 1 - Raising your complaint

Advocacy Fast Facts 2 - Local Resolution Meetings

Advocacy Fast Facts 3 - The Ombudsman


What if you need legal advice?

If you would like to find out more about taking legal action, you can contact the charity Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA).

You can also contact The Legal Aid Agency.

Contact us

If you would like our help or to find out more about NHS Health Complaints Advocacy, please contact us.

Telephone: 01483 310 500

Text: 07704 265 377 (this number cannot take voice calls)


Surrey Independent Living Council
Coniers Way

Please note that our advocates are often out of the office. If you would like to meet with someone in person, please contact us by phone, email or post first to book an appointment. We regret that it is unlikely that someone will be available to meet with you if you do not have an appointment.

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA) Services outside Surrey

Please see the documentation below for a list of IHCA services outside of Surrey.

IHCA services in surrounding counties (Doc)

IHCA services in surrounding counties (PDF)

Make a referral

If you would like to refer yourself or someone else to the NHS Health Complaints Advocacy Service, then please download a copy of our referral, consent and ethnicity forms:

Please complete the forms and return them by email or post to us using the contact details listed above for the Advocacy service. We can accept forms encrypted by Egress Switch.

Please note: Signatures, where appropriate, need to be done by hand. This is to prevent any delays to your complaint due to a questionable signature (i.e. if it was just typed).

Unacceptable Behaviour Statement

SILC staff work positively to support customers and resolve issues. Our staff will not tolerate verbal, physical or racial abuse, threatening behaviour, persistent rudeness or discrimination of any kind. We reserve the right to withdraw any of our services from customers who fail to respond to guidance around this statement and continue to behave in an unacceptable manner.



SILC, Astolat, Coniers Way, Burpham, Guildford GU4 7HL. Tel: 01483 458111  Privacy Policy 
Registered charity No. 1146482