There are lots of types of advocacy support available depending on what you need it for:Equality Advisory & Support (EASS)
If have experienced discrimination and you are struggling to use the EASS service, you could get an advocate to help. Self Advocacy
Self advocacy is about taking control of decisions about yourself and telling others what you want. Advocacy in Private Care Settings
Many services, including care homes, residential services and assisted living schemes offer access to advocacy.NHS Complaints Advocacy
VoiceAbility advocates can work with you in a variety of ways to ensure you understand your options and get the best outcome for you. We also have a dedicated website which has a wide range of information to support you make a complaint.
The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is a free and independent service that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).
The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is:
This website can help you to understand the NHS Complaints process and make a complaint about your issues.
If you do not feel comfortable making a complaint by yourself, or you need support at any point during the complaints process, Voiceability can give you that support.
VoiceAbility advocates can work with you in a variety of ways to ensure you understand your options and get the best outcome for you.
There is a dedicated website which has a wide range of information to support you make a complaint and can help you to understand the NHS Complaints process and make a complaint about your issues. NHS complaints
You can self-refer to the NHS Complaints Advocacy service.Care and Support Advocacy
Do you need help to be involved in decisions about your care needs? An advocate can help you be heard and understand your choices.
Do you live in Northamptonshire and need help to be involved in decisions about your care needs? A Total Voice advocate can help you be heard, understand your choices and make your own decisions. People with a substantial difficulty being involved in decisions about their social care, who don’t have anyone who can support them, are eligible for an advocate to help them participate in the process.
A social worker will usually make a referral for Care and Support AdvocacyIndependent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)This is for people age over 16
The Total Voice programme provides an IMCA service for people who have been assessed as ‘lacking capacity’ to make specific decisions, primarily about serious medical treatment and long term accommodation needs. Referrals need to come from either a local authority or the NHS.
The local authority/NHS decision maker MUST refer to the Voiceability advocacy if the person lacks capacity to make a decision about:
• Serious medical treatment
• Long term moves (more the 28 days in hospital/ 8 weeks in a care home)
• Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
and there is no one appropriate to consult on the decision. An appropriate person might be a family member or friend who knows them well but it cannot be anyone who is paid to provide care or other services.
The local authority/NHS decision maker MAY refer if the person lacks capacity to make a decision about: either
• Care review – where there is no one appropriate to consult as part of the review
• Safeguarding referral - victim or alleged perpetrator, regardless of family and friends
How do you know if someone lacks capacity?
Someone may be assessed as lacking the ability to make a decision, and needing an IMCA, if they cannot do one or more of the following:
• Understand information given about the decision.
• Retain the information for long enough to make the decision.
• Use or weigh up the information as part of the decision making process.
• Communicate their decision (by any means, e.g. talking, sign language or blinking).
The assessment must be specific to the decision which needs to be made, for example medical treatment, not a generic test of capacity. Whether and how such assessments are recorded may vary according to the seriousness of the decision made.
Age range 16+ Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
If you are being detained under the Mental Health Act, you are legally entitled to help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate.
The Total Voice programme provides the IMHA service for people who need support with their rights under the Mental Health Act. This service is open to anyone detained, or liable to be detained under a section of the Mental Health Act. You can self-refer to the IMHA service or you may be referred by a professional or family member or friend. Quality Checkers
Experts by Experience support providers to give the best service to people with learning disabilities age over 18. The quality checkers team are all experts by experience and use that experience to assess and report what is good and what needs improvements in each service. Voicability are a member of The Association of Quality Checkers.
As well as our regular quality checking work, we are currently running a training programme with SeeAbility called 'Opening Eyes'. The training is for people with learning disabilities and will help you learn how to look after your eyes and sight. Quality checkers Shared Voice Network
The Shared Voice Network (or SVN) is a project that supports you to be able to voice your views and opinions of the mental health services you have experienced in Northamptonshire. The advocates, with your help, can be an active part in influencing the decision makers by participating in your local SVN forum or consultation groups. Or, if you prefer, SVN can share your experiences on your behalf with local councils, the NHS and other governing bodies.
All services are free