Advocacy is about taking action to support people to:
- Say what they want
- Secure their rights
- Represent their interests
- Obtain services they need.
Advocacy is there to ensure that people are involved in decision-making about their health and care as much as possible or are represented where required. Advocates and advocacy providers work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.
What does an independent advocate do?
- Seek the person’s views, wishes and preferences
- Help the person to know their rights and communicate what they want
- Support the person to understand information, processes and decisions
- Support the person to challenge decisions they are unhappy with, or do so on their behalf if required
- Work with professionals to keep the person and their well-being at the centre of the care process.
Non-instructed advocacy takes place when a person lacks the capacity to instruct an advocate. The non-instructed advocate seeks to uphold the person’s rights; ensure fair and equal treatment and access to services; and make certain that decisions are taken with due consideration for all relevant factors which must include the person’s unique preferences and perspectives.
Your duty to refer
Professionals have a duty to refer eligible people to independent advocacy under the Care Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act.
Independent advocacy is a statutory right for individuals who, without independent support, are unable to be involved in making important decisions about their lives. Eligibility criteria for advocacy prioritises those most in need.
We also offer a range of non-statutory advocacy services, such as community and professional advocacy, which can help a wider range of people.