Healthwatch Oldham was awarded the NHS complaints advocacy contract in April 2016. It is an independent advocacy service and supports those wanting to make a formal complaint about an NHS provider or service. This includes social care provision if there is an element of NHS funding.
The service consists of one part-time complaints officer (22.5 hours) who receives 4 hours of administrative support.
Since 2016, we have worked hard to raise awareness of the service to both residents and service providers. The number of people accessing the service has gradually increased over the years.
As Oldham does not have a generic advocacy provider, we have seen increasing numbers of people contact us. As the criteria has become more stringent for accessing mental health (MH) support services, this has also had an impact on the service. We have had a significant number of people presenting with MH symptoms, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, contact us for support which has put additional demand on the service. Cases are also increasingly becoming more complex and time-consuming.
We have collated the data and produced this report to show the work we have achieved in 2019-20.