Advocates support individuals to say what they want, ensure their rights are upheld and to access services or other resources that they are entitled to. Paid professional advocates are independent of other service providers such as the NHS or local authority to protect their independence, so that they represent the person only and to ensure there is no conflict of interest.
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.
Advocacy Code of Practice – Revised by NDTi 2014
Advocacy Resources from the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL)
A national project which has produced a manual of 85 template policies which organisations can use to set up an advocacy service from scratch or for existing organisations to use to update current working practices.