What can they offer support with? (For example – housing, debt, social opportunities)

Making complaints about a service or treatments received from the NHS.

Who can use the service?

Anyone who wants to make a complaint about NHS treatment and care.

Details of what the service does or provides.

ICA is a free and independent service for patients who want to make a complaint about any part of their treatment or care on the NHS.

We can help you if you have not had the service you expect from the National Health Service (NHS) and want to complain. ICA provides practical support and information to people who want to make an NHS complaint. This might mean giving information so you can pursue a complaint by yourself or giving you the support of an experienced worker, called an advocate,  who can help you to make your complaint. 

Advocacy is a system that uses experienced workers to help people speak up for themselves and represent their own thoughts and feelings when things are difficult. Because advocacy is about helping people to speak up for themselves, an ICA advocate will not tell you what to do or act on the wishes of others.

ICA advocates will help you explore your options at every stage of your complaint and can give you information that can help you decide what to do. Throughout the complaints process an advocate might also do some or all of the following:

  • Help you to compile all the issues you want to raise in your complaint
  • Help you to write letters to the right people
  • Prepare you for meetings and go to these with you
  • Answer questions to help you make decisions
  • Give you the opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent of the NHS
  • Where possible we will meet you face to face to discuss your complaint
  • Provide you with information about how the NHS complaints process works
  • Help you to monitor the progress of your complaint with the organisation or individual responsible
  • Help you to understand what you can expect to achieve from the NHS complaints process


Contact details - for people who live in North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle, Darlington and Durham

Carers Federation
North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy
Room 312
Aidan House
Sunderland Road


0808 802 3000 / 0191 478 8350




When is it available?

Office hours are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. Advocacy support can be flexible outside of these times.

Contact details - for people who live Gateshead

If you live in Gateshead, please contact Your Voice Counts:

Your Voice Counts

14-16 Greenesfield Business Centre

Mulgrave Terrace



Tel: 0191 478 6472

Secure email: yvc.uk@nhs.net

Website: https://www.yvc.org.uk/nhsica