Advocacy and Mental Capacity Act Resource, Support and Information Agency

Who are we?

Jakki Cowley and Sue Lee set up Empowerment Matters in 2012, having extensive experience as advocates, including Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy and in-depth knowledge and experience of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its practical application.

We believe that people have a right to be involved in and at the heart of decisions that affect their lives and are committed to empowering and promoting the rights of individuals affected by the Mental Capacity Act.

Our work promotes and supports best practice across health, social care and advocacy sectors through the provision of information, training, resources, workshops and consultancy. We have the knowledge and expertise which will enable organisations seeking to ensure they are fulfilling their requirements and responsibilities under the MCA and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)  to find practical solutions. Our courses also support Family Carers to understand the implications of the Mental Capacity Act for them and their family member.

We aim to provide up to date, high quality, Mental Capacity Act/DoLs advocacy, training, information and resources.

Our specialist areas of work are:

  • Mental Capacity Act/DoLs training delivered in-house to staff and tailored to the needs of your organisation
  • Workshops for Family Carers on the Mental Capacity Act/DoLS
  • All types of Advocacy Training including Non Instructed Advocacy
  • IMCA and IMHA professional development
  • Advocacy case support/external supervision for advocates
  • Advocacy provision for those in PDOC or who have dementia
  • Mental Capacity Act/advocacy research
  • Development of quality free resources on advocacy and the MCA
  • IMCA Conferences

New resource for practitioners to support effective challenge

Empowerment Matters worked with VoiceAbility to produce a new Practice Guide for challenging decisions or actions with or on behalf of individuals involved with social care and health services.

The first of its kind, this Guidance provides comprehensive information to support advocates and professionals to decide on the most appropriate route to take to challenge decisions based on the person’s views and situation.  This guide will help advocates to develop a ‘tool-kit’ of different approaches in order to get the best possible outcome for people.

The full Guidance can be downloaded here: Guidance on Challenging Decisions – July 2015

The Guidance provides detailed information on the spectrum of methods to resolve issues including:

  • Taking an informal approach to challenge; when this is most appropriate and the skills required to be effective, including negotiating and influencing;
  • Formal routes to challenge; under the Mental Capacity Act 2005; Mental Health Act 1983; and Care Act 2014 as well as formal complaints processes and judicial review.

The Guide will be helpful to advocates, family members and others who often take on the crucial role of supporting people to raise their own concerns, or challenging decisions on their behalf, were necessary.  It provides essential reference materials, case examples and references to relevant Articles with Acts and Statutory Guidance and aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of those challenging decisions in often very complex situations.

The Guide was commissioned by VoiceAbility, written by Empowerment Matters with legal advice from Irwin Mitchell LLP and substantial guidance and input from advocates at VoiceAbility.