North East ICA

FREE PHONE 0808 802 3000

NHS Advocacy is now provided by North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA),supporting individuals complaining about the NHS in the following local authority areas:

Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, North Tyneside, , Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside  and Sunderland.

This service replaced the previous Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) in 2013 and  continues to be delivered by the Carers Federation Ltd, who now have over sixteen years experience of supporting people in the North East with NHS complaints. Please click on the Independent Complaints Advocacy link on the left hand banner for an overview of how we can help.

How to find us

The service is based at:
Aidan House
Sunderland Road

 Local Links you may find useful

Healthwatch – the local voice for health and social care issues

Clinical Commissioning Groups

Outreach venues by appointment. Due to the latest Government guidance Plan B we have temporarily suspended both our Outreach and Office facilities to the public until further notice though the Team are all working remotely and can be contacted via the Office number below.

We have fully experienced Advocates in all Local Authority areas and  at certain core venues by appointment. Alternatively, in response to feedback and to make our service more accessible, we are able to meet at  any other venue to suit your individual needs.To make an appointment please call 0191- 4788350 or email to explore options. Deaf/deafened people can contact us by text 07789088284 or BSL Whats app video on 07738994040

Healthwatch Darlington  1  Chancery Lane
1st Monday monthly 11am-1pm by appointment only
Aidan House Sunderland Road NE8 3HU Weds afternoons – no appointment required 1.30pm -4pm
Healthwatch County Durham, Whitfield House, St Johns Road
Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham DH7 8XL
2nd Thursday of month 2-4pm
appointment only
ORCEL Wynyard Road Hartlepool TS25 3LB
every 3rd Wednesday 9.30-12pm
appointment only
Live Well Centre
Dundas Arcade Middlesbrough
1st Weds of each mth 1-4pm
appointment only


Contact Office for latest arrangements

North Tyneside
 Contact Office for arrangements Ist Tuesday 12pm -3pm
Contact Office for arrangements
First Wednesday of every month 9.30am -12pm

South Tyneside

Contact Office for arrangements


Contact Office for arrangements


Latest update    January 2022

We are following the latest Government coronavirus guidance to keep both staff and people who use our services safe.


We are  temporarily unable to meet people face to face and support them at meetings as our local NHS Organisations have changed their arrangements to suspend meetings in the short term whilst the current covid challenges remain in place. Whilst we still can use virtual meetings as an option we recognise this is not for everyone – our telephone is manned to offer support as usual.

We are proud as a service to be fully functional and adapted to lots of changes during the COVID 19 pandemic. It also remains sensible to take stock of what the public require from the service and we are able to facilitate presentations virtually to any interested groups and are particularly interested in how you feel our service can help you.

We want to hear from you should your NHS care and treatment not go to plan or even if there have been significant delays – it is important your voice is heard within the NHS.

We give our time free and pride ourselves in being people led so will tailor any support in accordance with your wishes and the outcomes you desire.

Please note our  main Office staffing is being reviewed during January until a clearer picture emerges on the new Covid variant. Should you wish to meet at the Office please ring our free phone number.

Whist making a complaint to the NHS is a decision for you: if you do not; how with the NHS be able to learn and improve for the future? There are positive benefits from all negative experiences. Its the essence of learning for everyone and generates positive outcomes. Even in these challenging times this message still rings true.


Finally  the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman  published their information around the new Complaints standards framework and there are several NHS Organisations trialling this in the North East please follow this link:-

Our advocate team has a wealth of experience and knowledge and specialise in NHS complaints work so have no other distractions and will guide and support you through the NHS complaints process to a conclusion.

As an advocacy service we are independent of the NHS, non judgemental and impartial though most important are led by you and your needs – we will help you to do what you want about your NHS complaint and signpost you to other Organisations as well if needed.

The Team would like to thank everyone past and present who gave a combined satisfaction rate of over 95% in the last quarter.

Typical comments December 2021:-

Yes, she was lovely, helpful, and supportive. She explained everything to me, how to do it and when. I felt well prepared for the meeting. (Advocate name) was wonderful and I felt as though I would not get through it as well as I would have without her 


Very much so she is very friendly and goes above her job description. Absolutely excellent and cannot fault her


Yes, very satisfied she was very supportive, nothing seemed too much trouble. The support was there but gave me the autonomy to make my own decisions and choice and I was really impressed with the advocate and could not fault anything