How to challenge a decision

Your support during an immensely difficult period was so valuable to me. We have now been relocated and everything is going well.

Jo, who used our services

Tools for challenging decisions about care, treatment, accommodation and more.

Your rights

The law says social workers, doctors and health and care staff must consider what you want when they make decisions about:

  • where you live in the long term
  • serious medical treatment
  • the package of care you might get
  • if you already have a care package, whether this should change

If a social worker or doctor decides you need help to say what you think, the law says they must get you an advocate.

Ways to challenge decisions

This guide explains different approaches for challenging decisions about care, treatment, accommodation and more. 

This guide is a reference for advocates and professionals but also for friends and family members who often take on the crucial role of supporting people to raise their own concerns, or challenge decisions on their behalf, where necessary. 

We worked closely with Empowerment Matters, Irwin Mitchell LLP, Dr Lucy Series and Steven Richards from Edge Consultancy and Training to produce the Challenge Guidance.

How can an advocate help?

An advocate is an independent professional who is on your side. They can support you to have your say and know your rights. Advocates don’t work for the council, the NHS, or care providers.

An advocate can help you to:

  • understand your options
  • say what accommodation, care or treatment you want – and what you don’t want
  • complain or challenge anything you are unhappy with about your treatment, care or support

Can I get an advocate?

You don’t have to pay for an advocate but there are rules about who can get an advocate and when. To find out if you can get an advocate, talk to your healthcare professional, contact us or use our online referral tool.