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Advocacy is a way of protecting your rights and getting help when dealing with organisations when decisions are made about you. It is founded on the belief that people are of equal value regardless of ability, wealth, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, marital status, race, disability or religion or status and therefore should get equal rights.

If you find it hard or do not have the confidence to ask for appropriate services or make a complaint, advocacy services can help. They can:

  • Listen and find out explore what your choices 
  • Enable you to know what your rights are
  • Help you to plan any action you may want to take
  • Get information for you, or put you in touch with someone who can
  • Talk to relevant agencies, write letters and make telephone calls with or for you
  • Prepare for meetings or reviews and make sure your views are heard
  • Increase communication levels between yourself and others
  • Investigate alternative sources of support.

Advonet is a Leeds based organisation that can help a wide range of people with their advocacy needs. You can ask for an advocate by ringing them on 0113 244 0606 option 1. The link to their website is in the External links section of this page. They operate as a single point of access for all advocacy services including the LIHCA service (Leeds Independent Health Complaints Advocacy).

Who is Leeds Independent Health Complaints Advocacy?

LIHCA can help if you feel you have not had the service you expect from the NHS and want to complain using the NHS complaints process. This might mean providing information so you can pursue a complaint by yourself or giving you the support of an experienced worker who can help you to make your complaint. LIHCA gives you the opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent of the NHS. OurThe service covers residents within the Leeds Metropolitan District area, even if the treatment was elsewhere.

LIHCA is free.

LIHCA is independent of the NHS.

LIHCA is confidential.

What does an LIHCA Advocate do to help?

Advocates work with you and support you to feel confident to make a complaint. They will provide you with information about the NHS complaints process and help you explore your options at every stage of your complaint.

Throughout the complaints process an advocate might also do some or all of the following: 

  • Help you to write letters to the right people
  • Prepare you for meetings and, if necessary, go to these with you
  • Help you to monitor the progress of your complaint with the organisation or individual responsible‚Äč