What is advocacy?
Advocacy is helpful for people who find it hard to make decisions about the care and support they need, who feel they are not being actively involved in a decision or who have real difficulty in understanding what is happening. An advocate is a person who works with you to make sure your ideas and wishes are heard and that you get the right care and support for you. Provision of advocacy is an important element of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA).
Who is advocacy for?
Advocacy is useful for:
- children and young adults
- an adult whose care and support needs are being assessed or reviewed
- a carer whose needs are being assessed
- people who are being assessed during a safeguarding enquiry
How do I get advocacy?
If you (or someone you care for) finds it hard to:
- understand and remember important information
- use that information in daily life, or
- express views, wishes or feelings
then we can offer you an advocate to help you get the support and care you want and need and makes sure you are involved in the decisions made about your care and support.
Advonet is a Leeds based organisation that can help a wide range of people with their advocacy needs. You can ask for an advocate by ringing them on 0113 244 0606.
They operate as a single point of access for all advocacy services including the LIHCA service (Leeds Independent Health Complaints Advocacy). LIHCA can help if you feel you have not had the service you expect from the NHS and want to complain using the NHS complaints process. Full details are on Advonet's website.
Age UK Leeds work with and for older people in Leeds to improve late life. Services they offer include advice and support with:
- Independence at home
- Hospital discharge to home
- Support for people with a diagnosis of cancer
- Mental health hospital after care
- Health and wellbeing
- LGBT older people
- Learning computer basics
Tell me more about how about how an advocate can help me
Advocates are independent from the council, the NHS, your doctor and other healthcare services. Your advocate will get to know you so they can support and represent you when decisions are made about your care. Your advocate will make sure that your wellbeing and interests are always carefully considered.
Your advocate will help you to:
- understand the care and support process
- talk about your wishes, views and feelings
- make decisions
- challenge council decisions about your care and support if you don't agree with them
- understand your rights
- support you in the safeguarding process, if necessary