What is Advocacy?
Advocacy works around the belief that equal opportunities should exist for everyone. Advocacy seeks to ensure that people, particularly the most vulnerable in society are able to :
- Express their views and concerns
- Access information and services
- Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
- Express options and choices.
In essence an advocate represents a sort of unconditional ally for a vulnerable individual, they may in fact be the only person in that individual’s life who is on their side. Our Advocacy services are free, confidential and independent.
Cheshire Advocacy Hub provides the following advocacy services:
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
When someone is detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, it can be very distressing, they can feel powerless. Our fully trained Independent Advocates can offer help and support to:
- Obtain information
- Understand why they have been detained
- Explain their rights under the Mental Health Act
- Ensure their views and wishes are taken into account by professional staff involved in their care and treatment
- Ensure they are involved in the decisions that are made about them
- Challenge the detention.
IMHA is available to people aged 18 and over who are subject to the Mental Health Act
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
If someone is considered not to have capacity to make important decisions concerning serious medical treatment, changes to accommodation, adult protection issues and some care reviews. It is still important for their views and wishes to be heard, especially if they have no family or friends who are appropriate to support them. It is the role of our fully trained Independent Advocates to:
- Support the person to make their own decision wherever possible
- Obtain their view and wishes, feelings, beliefs and values
- Ensure their views, wishes, feelings, beliefs and values are taken into account by professional staff involved in making decisions about them
- Challenge decisions that the advocate feels is not in the persons best interests.
IMCA is available to people aged 16 and over who have been assessed as lacking capacity and have no appropriate family or friends to support them.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)
Our IMCA service is also involved in deprivation of liberty safeguards under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, our Advocates will ensure:
- No-one is deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home without good reason
- People who are deprived of their liberty receive the care that they need
- The persons views, wishes, feelings, beliefs and values are taken into account by professional staff involved in their care
- Support with challenging the deprivation of liberty, if a person objects to that deprivation.
Independent Advocacy under Care Act
The Care Act 2014 is a new law which came into force on 1st April 2015. It says that people should be fully involved in the assessment of their care needs, planning the support they require and how money will be spent on their care. The Care Act also recognises the rights of carers to an assessment and support in their own right. Our fully trained Independent Advocates will:
- Support with needs assessments
- Support with care and support planning.
- Support with care reviews
- Support with safeguarding enquiries
- Support with safeguarding reviews.
- Support to challenge and submit appeals
- Support with a carers needs assessment
- Support with a carers support planning
- Support to challenge and submit appeals.
Care Act Advocacy is available to people aged 16 and over who have care and support needs, and to their carers who meet the eligible criteria.
Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Advocacy (Cheshire West only)
For those indivuduals aged 18 and over who need support and representation in challenging continuing healthcare funding issues. Our CHC advocates will:
- Support people to explore their options
- Empower people to make their own decisions
- Empower people to appeal a CHC decision.
CHC Advocacy is available to people aged 18 and over.
The Cheshire Advocacy Hub, Sension House, Denton Drive, Northwich CW9 7LU. There is now one telephone number for all advocacy enquiries: t: 03333 66 00 27