​Keep things focused

​Advocates and advice workers play an important role in helping complainants make focused complaints.

We know that making a complaint can be stressful. People want to make sure they write everything down so we don’t miss anything. This can make it harder for us to understand what happened and what the main concerns are. All we need to get started is a summary of the complaint.

You can play an important role in helping complainants make focused complaints that summarise the key issues and what they want to happen as a result of the complaint.

Some tips

Be clear, concise and focused

To get started, we just need:

  • A brief summary in date order, including what happened when your client complained to the organisation and what the organisation said
  • A clear idea of your client’s main concerns and the key things that need to be sorted out
  • An explanation of how the problems your client is complaining about affected them (or other people, if appropriate). This can include things like distress, anxiety or inconvenience as well as being out of pocket.

Be selective

Please don’t send lots of documents to us: only give us the key documents at this stage. The most useful documents at the start are the complaint responses from the organisation as these often contain details of what it has looked at. Don’t worry - we make sure we get more details when we take a closer look at the complaint and will speak to you and your client to get more documents and information.

Use one of our complaints forms

  • For NHS complaints, you can use our online form, or if this is difficult for you and your client, we also have Word and PDF forms.
  • For complaints about UK government departments or services, you can download a Word or PDF form.