In line with the recommendations made by Rt hon. Ann Clwyd and Tricia Hart, and the Francis Inquiry, the Government wants to see every Trust make clear to every patient from their first encounter with the hospital:
— who they can turn to for independent local support if they want to complain, and where to contact them; and— details of how to contact their local Healthwatch, which in some areas may provide advocacy services, but in all areas can provide general advice and information on health and care issues.
Since April 2013, individual local authorities have been responsible for the commissioning of National Health Service complaints advocacy services for their areas. As we indicated in Hard Truths, the Department will begin an evaluation of the current commissioning arrangements in 2014.