Keeping people safe: Advocacy as critical friend

“I suddenly started to find that I was supporting many people from one particular ward to make complaints..." We help our commissioners identify changes that are needed in systems that affect lots of people.

“I suddenly started to find that I was supporting many people from one particular ward to make complaints. It was out of the ordinary to have all those complaints so close together over a few months.

“Two of the complaints were particularly serious, related to mal-administration of medication. One person had been given a high dose of medication that could have been fatal. Another was not given the correct medication because they were confused with another patient.

“I felt these were safeguarding issues, so I raised them with the local safeguarding team at the local authority. They started their own investigation. It turned out that the hospital hadn’t raised these incidents with the safeguarding team when they should have done. After the investigation, major changes were made including staff changes.

“It’s early days since all of this but we haven’t had any serious safeguarding concerns at that ward since. And I’ve had some lovely cards from people I supported to tell me that they were really pleased with the support to make their complaints.” – VoiceAbility Advocate