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An advocate is a person who supports and helps you to explain and say what you want if you find it difficult to do by yourself.
Advocates can help you -
Aside from people who know you well, there are also professional advocacy services, such as
Search for an advocate here
Adult Social Care will refer you to an independent care act advocacy service if you have substantial difficulty in being involved with the assessment of your needs, care planning or care reviews and you have no appropriate person to help you be engaged. This may be people who -
Adult Social Care must consider whether you have ‘substantial difficulty’ in any one of the following areas -
Sometimes it will be possible to help and support a person's direct involvement through making reasonable adjustments, as required by the Equality Act, such as providing information in accessible formats.
Advocates can be used when you have no appropriate person to help you. Someone who is considered as an 'appropriate person must be someone who you want to support you and it cannot be someone who is already providing you with care or treatment in a professional capacity or on a paid basis.
Your wish not to be supported by an individual should be respected. Where a person does not wish to be supported by a relative, for example, perhaps because they wish to be moving towards independence from their family, then the Council cannot consider the relative appropriate.
An independent advocate’s role is to support and represent the person, always with regard to their wellbeing and interests, including helping a person to -
Help and Care Advocacy If you are not sure if you are eligible for the service, please get in touch. Call 0300 111 3303 or email email@example.com
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced the role of the independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) to be a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions such as where they live and about serious medical treatment options.
The IMCA service must be provided for any person aged 16 years or older, who has no one able to support and represent them, and who lacks capacity to make a decision about -
Such a person will have a condition that is affecting their ability to make decisions. Many factors can affect a person’s capacity such as -
Capacity can also be affected by other illness, trauma or other factors. A person’s capacity may vary over time or may depend on the type of decision that needs to be made.
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) requires ‘decision-specific’ assessments of capacity. A person is assessed as lacking the ability to make a decision, and needing an IMCA, if they have an impairment to the mind or brain and because of they cannot do one or more of the following:
The assessment must be specific to the decision which needs to be made and not a generic test of capacity.
The IMCA will -
Getting a referral for an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate is usually initiated by the ‘decision maker’. This is person in authority who has ultimate responsibility for making best interest decisions for the person involved.
For serious medical treatment decision - this is usually the consultant or medical practitioner
For accommodation decisions - this is usually the care manager or social care practitioner
Others can make a referral but the decision maker should be made aware. Before being referred the client must have been assessed and deemed to lack capacity.
Dorset Advocacy provide the IMCA service in Dorset.