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Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020

Section 16 - Advocacy services etc. in respect of complaints about services

47.This section gives functions to the Citizen Voice Body in relation to complaints. Under this section the Citizen Voice Body may provide assistance to individuals with complaints relating to health and social services including social care services regulated under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.

48.Assistance may by given by, for example, providing information and support to allow a service user to pursue a complaint themselves or by providing the support to a complainant at meetings where a complaint is discussed.

49.Subsection (2) sets out the complaints relating to health services in respect of which the Citizen Voice Body may give assistance. They are the complaints which by virtue of section 187 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 the Welsh Ministers are required to arrange for the provision of independent advocacy services. These include complaints about—


the exercise of any of the functions of an NHS body (a local health board, an NHS trust or special health authority),


the provision of health care by an NHS body including care provided on their behalf by another person or body,


the provision of redress by or for an NHS body under the NHS Redress (Wales) Measure 2008.

50.It also includes complaints made to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales relating to NHS services.

51.Subsections (3) to (6) set out the other complaints in respect of which the Citizen Voice Body may provide assistance. These include—


complaints made to a local authority about the exercise of its social services functions,


complaints made to a local authority about the provision of services by another person or body under arrangements with the local authority,


complaints made to a provider of a regulated social care service (within the meaning of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016) such as a care home service or domiciliary support service.

52.It also includes complaints made to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales about a local authority’s social services functions or about care home services and domiciliary care services.

53.Subsection (7) excludes from the Body’s functions assistance with complaints to a local authority by children and other specified individuals where complaints assistance is already arranged by local authorities by virtue of their duties under Part 10 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

54.Subsection (8) requires the Citizen Voice Body, when it is providing or considering whether to provide advocacy services or other assistance under this section, to have regard to the importance of ensuring, where appropriate, face to face engagement between its staff or any other persons acting on its behalf (such as contractors) and any person to whom advocacy services or other forms of assistance are being or may be provided.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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