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Advocacy Service contract announced

Published
19.09.2017

Vital support for people to resolve issues or concerns about their NHS care and treatment will continue in Buckinghamshire.

Buckinghamshire County Council has announced it has awarded a new three year contract to seAp advocacy to continue to deliver the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA) service. seAp has been delivering this service in Buckinghamshire since it began in 2004.

Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health said: “When someone has concerns about the NHS treatment they have received they want answers. This service is all about helping them to get those answers. IHCA is a free, independent service that can help people to make a complaint about any aspect of their NHS care or treatment – and get the answers they need to understand what went wrong.”

IHCA is a statutory service delivered throughout England and seAp is an independent charity that provides advocacy, mainly in the South of England.

Advocacy is about supporting people to exercise their right to be heard. Advocates help people express their wishes and views, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the services they need.  seAp has the QPM, Quality in Advocacy award and the four stars recognised for excellence, EFQM quality mark.

Lin Hazell, Health and Wellbeing Cabinet member said, “Most people are happy with the care they receive from the NHS, but things do go wrong sometimes. When they do, people are often at their most vulnerable, so it is vital that they can access and receive the right support to get their voices heard.”

She added, “If someone is ill, undergoing treatment or grieving it can be really hard for them to express their feelings and have the strength to raise it.  Raising concerns in this way also enables the NHS to learn so that it continually improves.”

seAp supports people to put in a complaint about a service through the NHS complaints process. The service is available to all Buckinghamshire residents and covers all NHS services including:

  • GP surgeries
  • hospital trusts
  • mental health services
  • dentists
  • ambulance services
  • pharmacies
  • All other services funded by the NHS, including those by private providers

 The new service started on 1 September  2017 and the contract is for three years. For more information please call the seAp contact centre on 0330 440 9000 or visit www.seap.org.uk for more information and for a self help information pack.

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