Independent Complaints Advocacy Network: 25Th March 2015

Independent Complaints Advocacy Network: 25Th March 2015

Independent Complaints Advocacy Network: 25th March 2015.

Meeting to consider Quality Standards for Health Complaints Advocacy (plus short update on network communications).

Decisions and action points

Julia Tabreham (Carers Federation ), Marie Casey (SEAP), Damian Brady (Pohwer), Phillippa Ashcroft (VoiceAbility), Jonathan Senker (VoiceAbility).

Quality standards

  1. Headline statements about the standards

It was agreed that these should be:

  • Measureable
  • Mindful of the overall system (i.e. not make commitments to things which require actions not achievable by the advocacy service)
  • Owned by the advocacy sector
  • Applicable to health complaints but potentially adaptable/ extendable to social care complaints in time
  • Focus on a relatively small number of areas in which it would be realistic to implement and measure rather than being exhaustive
  • Capable of implementation regardless of the overall model of advocacy provision (e.g. whether or not embedded in wider advocacy service and applicable whoever commissions it)
  • Implemented:
  • As a voluntary code initially
  • Introduced into specification and contracts through negotiation with LGA
  • Supported by the Programme Board (once reconvened/ reconstituted)
  1. Approach

The HWE standards were taken as a helpful starting point. Our work would concentrate on develop a ‘baseline of practice’ from these from which we could be held to account as providers.

Our next steps will be:

(a)To meet with LGA and key commissioners who they invite to establish what they would want standards to focus on in order to work for LAs.(We have also suggested that we consider with them how we could work together on (i)- the promotion of the service, (ii) encouraging a single name/ identity and (iii)the potential development over time of common data set.

(b)To seek views from HWE about the development of the standards in this way.

Julia, Marie and Jonathan agreed to attend these meetings which we will try to get on the same day.

  1. Outline areas for standards

Known and Accessible

  • Network plan and action based on need
  • Proactive in reaching people otherwise left out
  • Collects client profile data and acts on it
  • Ability to communicate according to client needs including face-to-face, phone etc
  • Well linked with local organisations
  • Provide details to any local and central points which are needed


  • Clear purpose and description of service
  • Trained, supervised, appraised etc
  • Policy framework which is appropriate especially:




  • Empowerment focussed and mechanisms to ensure
  • Accountable and complaints
  • Have standards for timeliness and meet them (describes and meets standards)


  • Funding agreements and monitoring do not interfere with the organisations’ ability to provide independent advocacy to clients
  • Conflicts are registered and avoided
  • The organisation is not owned by funders or providers of health services, governed by employees these etc
  • Independence made clear in publicity
  • Work to principles in Advocacy Charter

Makes a difference

  • Systems to measure and report on outcomes
  • Gets clients’ feedback and can demonstrate that acts on it
  • Identifies general issues / themes / trends and takes action to promote change with other organisations:

About service provision

Complaint handling

  • Has systems to share information with local HW, CQC and other key stakeholders


Damian is progressing work to establish a LinkedIn Group.

Jonathan agreed to draft an email to members when this is established to update on work done.

Phillippa agreed to make links with children’s and young people’s advocacy services