The Care Act 2014 places a duty on the local council to provide an independent advocate to assist any person with eligible needs.
Assessment and eligibility process
This is to support individuals to be included in the process of assessment, support planning and/or review when they have capacity but have substantial difficulty being involved and participating fully. This also applies to carers with similar support needs.
An advocate is called upon where there is no appropriate adult relative or carer to act on the customer's behalf, or where the carer does not wish to undertake this role.
What else can a trained advocate do?
An advocate is trained to:
- Provide support for the person who lacks mental capacity or has substantial difficulty being fully involved
- Represent the person without capacity in discussions about any proposed course of action or treatment
- Provide information to inform what is in a person's best interest
- Question or challenge decisions that they believe are not in the best interests or need clarification for the person lacking capacity; and
- Present the individual's views, wishes and interests to inform the decision maker for a 'Best Interest Decision' by the professional during the process.
Help with NHS complaints
Advocacy can also help people make a complaint about an NHS service. Advocates are specially trained in how to support you to go through this process.
Advocates support people to express their needs and wishes for themselves and represent their own thoughts and feelings when things get difficult.
As advocacy is about helping people to speak up for themselves and be heard, your advocate will not tell you what to do or act on the wishes of others without your consent.
Advocates work with you so that you feel confident to make a complaint.
Advocates will help you to explore your options at the different complaint stages and can give you information that can help you decide what to do.
I need an advocate - where do I go?
Voiceability provide independent trained advocacy services across Northamptonshire.