Advocacy - support available to get your voice heard

Last updated on 24 Apr 2015

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is free, independent support to help you to get your voice heard. Advocacy organisations can pair you up with an independent advocate who is on your side if you need support. They can;

  • Help you to find information
  • Talk things through with you to find out what you want
  • Support you to get your views across at appointments and meetings
  • Help you to understand your rights

What can an Advocate help with?

  • Accessing services such as Health, Housing, Social Care
  • Personal budgets
  • Safeguarding from abuse
  • Writing important letters
  • Making complaints

Do I need an Advocate?

  • Do you want things in your life to change?
  • Do you feel that you are not being listened to?
  • Do you feel like you are on your own?
  • Do you need help to speak up for yourself?

What kind of Advocacy is available to me?

Care and Support

If you have difficulty understanding or taking part in discussions and decisions about your care and support independent advocacy is available.

Newcastle City Council will arrange for an independent advocate to help you if you have no one else who can support you  through the process, such as a friend or family member. The advocate will support you to understand the discussions and to express your views. For example they may support you through your needs assessment so the council can work out what support you need to help you live independently for longer.

Advocacy Centre North provides BME Case Advocacy for people from Black & Minority Ethnic communities around Health & Social Care issues

Community Advocacy

Advocacy Centre North provides free Community Advocacy. It  is available to 'vulnerable people' over 18 in Newcastle. They provide support to empower vulnerable people to be better able to make informed decisions about their lives and to speak up for themselves. They support people to develop independence and self-advocacy skills so that the need for advocacy is reduced over time.

Ppeople who might benefit from this service include:

  • people with physical disabilities
  • people with learning disabilities
  • older people

Community Advocacy is available to any vulnerable person over 18 who lives in Newcastle and meets at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • needs support making their views known
  • is facing a major life change
  • has inappropriate support, or lacks support from services or family
  • has no independent support who can help with their interests at heart
  • has a poor quality of life which is affected by any of the points mentioned above

Mental Health

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) represents people who have been assessed and lack the mental capacity to make important decisions. If the person has no one else to support them and represent their views, such as a family member of friend, their social worker, doctor, or other professional should ensure that an IMCA is involved.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) will only need to be involved in the following specific circumstances:

  • if the decision is about serious medical treatment; or
  • if the decision is about a long-term change of residence, for example moving into a hospital or care home.

Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)

An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) can support someone who is subject to the Mental Health Act, (This may also be known as detained or 'sectioned' under the Act). Advocacy support may also be given to people on supervised community treatment or on guardianship orders, or if their treatment is subject to certain special rules.

The Advocacy Centre North can provide an IMHA who can provide support to

  • help patients understand information they are given by people involved in their care/treatment
  • help them to talk to the people involved in their care/treatment
  • access information about how the Mental Health Act applies to patient

Case Advocacy

Advocacy Centre North provides Case Advocacy  for people with mental health needs.

NHS Health Care Complaints

North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) can help if you feel you have not had the service you expect from the National Health Service (NHS) and want to complain.

Other Useful Information

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