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Your Voice Counts Advocacy Services

NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (NHS ICA)

If you feel unhappy about an NHS service you have received and you want to make a  complaint,  you are  legally entitled to help from an advocacy service like ours.

Who can we help?


We can help you if you live in Gateshead and need support with an NHS complaint. If you live in a different area, you should contact your local council for advice.

What can we help with?


The role of an advocate is to support you through the NHS complaints procedure. We can help you by:

  • giving you advice and information about the NHS complaints procedure

  • helping you to draft letters 

  • preparing with you for complaints resolution meetings and attend these with you, if you find it difficult to say what you want to say

  • liaising with NHS complaints teams.

What don’t we do? 

  • We can’t make a complaint on your behalf or give you legal or medical advice.

  • We can’t tell you what to do or try to persuade you to take a particular course of action.

  • We can’t get involved in getting an NHS employee disciplined. 

  • We can’t provide support with complaints about private medical care.

  • If the complaint happened over 12 months ago, we may not be able to investigate it.


Not everyone making a complaint about the NHS will need an advocate. sometimes, you may just need some information. If you decide you want to make a complaint yourself you may find our Self-Help Information Pack useful:

How to get help from our service

If you live in Gateshead and wish to access NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy support or if you would like to find out more information please call for free 0800 048 7856.  If you decide that you would like the support of an advocate, please complete and return our referral form either by email to or by post to:


Your Voice Counts
14-16 Greenesfield Business Centre
Mulgrave Terrace


You can also make a referral for someone else, but please get their permission first. If you need further information or support, call for free on 0800 048 7856. Lines are open between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday. An answerphone operates outside of these times.  

Useful resources 


  • You can find out more information about your rights and what to expect in the NHS Constitution for England and the NHS complaints guidance here.

  • The NHS Choices website also has information about feedback and complaints on its website, find out more here.

  • If you have already made your complaint and received a response which you are unhappy with, you may wish to contact the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman who make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England.  More information can be found here.

For information in British Sign Language, watch the short video below:

For more information or advice about a referral, please contact us.

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