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Help & support

We've compiled these useful links and resources to help you access the right expertise as quickly as possible.

A woman comforting another woman.

Support and advice for patients, carers and families

We can only investigate a small number of investigations each year, even if they meet our criteria. However, if we can’t take your patient safety concern forward, or simply aren’t the right people to talk to, other organisations may be able to help.

Find out how we decide to investigate.

NHS England and NHS Improvement

You can give feedback or make a complaint about a provider or a service to NHS England. This website includes information about accessing advocacy services and support for those with a learning disability.

Clinical commissioning groups

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) commission most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible. More information about what a CCG is and what they are responsible for can be found here. You can raise a complaint with your local CCG. Find contact details for your local CCG on the NHS website.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England, UK government departments and other public organisations. More information can be found on the PHSO website.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. It provides a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers. Officers from PALS are present in hospitals. Find your local PALS team on the NHS website.

VoiceAbility

VoiceAbility offers a free and independent advocacy and user involvement service to support people who face disadvantage or discrimination. They support people to speak up and have their rights and choices respected

Action against Medical Accidents

Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) is the UK charity for patient safety and justice.

It provides free independent advice and support to people affected by medical accidents (lapses in patient safety) through a specialist helpline, written casework and inquest support services. AvMA works in partnership with health professionals, the NHS, government departments, lawyers and patients to improve patient safety and justice.

INQUEST

INQUEST is a small charity that provides free advice to people bereaved by a death in custody and detention and is entirely independent of government.

The charity provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention, or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death that has occurred in psychiatric care and cases that involve multi-agency failings and raise wider issues of state and corporate accountability.

Support after an incident during childbirth

Campaign for Safer Births

The Campaign for Safer Births is working to improve NHS maternity services in order to reduce the avoidable deaths and injuries of babies and mothers during labour.

Support after an incident during the healthcare of your child

Mother’s Instinct

Mother’s Instinct provides support for bereaved parents and for parents whose child has had a bad healthcare experience. Its aim is to improve communication between parents and clinicians as part of providing better paediatric care.

Support after a bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults after someone dies. It also works to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.

Widowed and Young

Widowed and Young (WAY) offers a unique peer-to-peer support network to anyone whose partner died when they were young.