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Young girl with megaphone

Someone to speak on my behalf

If someone speaks on your behalf, they are commonly known as an advocate.

An advocate will represent your best interests and, if you are vulnerable, will ensure you are safeguarded from harm. The role of an advocate is to ensure people who may not be able to represent their views clearly can be supported make their own decisions about the care and support they receive. This may be people with learning disabilities or mental ill health issues, or even older people.

Advocates remain independent from social care providers, will not try to influence the decision-maker or put forward their own views. The council does not provide an advocacy service, but some local organisations do and they can assist you in finding an advocate. Below is a list of the main advocacy services available. Click on the title of each to find out more.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service

If someone does not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves and cannot ask someone to act on their behalf, the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service acts as an important independent safeguard. When the Council has to make a decision regarding someone who lacks capacity, they must consult the IMCA. In Stockport this service is provided by Together who are an independent professional advocacy service.

IMCA Advocacy Tameside, Stockport and Oldham
Website: http://www.together-uk.org/projects/imca-advocacy-tameside-stockport-oldham/
Tel: 07545207791
Email: tsoimca@together-uk.org

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

IMHAs are specialist advocates who are trained to work within the framework of the Mental Health Act. IMHAs accept referrals for patients subject to the Mental Health Act. This is both in hospital or subject to a Community Treatment Order and has no age restriction. Support is free of charge.

IMHAs can explain how the Mental Health Act applies to you, explain your rights & help you access information about your care and treatment. IMHA’s can also support you to ensure your views are heard. It is your choice if you are supported by an IMHA.

IMHA’s are instructed by you and will only act with your consent on the issues you feel are important. We also provide non-instructed advocacy to clients who are unable to instruct.

IMHA’s may also be able to:

  • Help you to understand why you are in hospital & make sense of what is happening
  • Help you to access information about your treatment / medication
  • Support you in your relationship with your psychiatrist and the ward staff
  • Help prepare for ward rounds / tribunals etc. and to support you in them (subject to availability)
  • Signpost you to other agencies for other issues you may need help with

Stockport Total Advocacy
Address: 48 Middle Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 3DL
IMHA Voicemail number: 0161 989 0031
Email: imha@stockportadvocacy.co.uk
Website: www.stockportadvocacy.org.uk

NHS Complaints Advocacy

This service is independent from the NHS and will support you to make your complaint about an NHS service.

Your complaint might be about care or treatment at:

  • The GP (General Practitioner) surgery
  • The hospital
  • NHS care within the community
  • A care home funded by the NHS
  • The optician
  • The dentist
  • The pharmacist
  • The chiropodist

Advocates work with you so that:

  • You know how to make a complaint
  • You feel confident to make a complaint
  • You know your options during the complaints procedure
  • You have the information to help you decide what to do

Your advocate will work with you to ensure:

  • You can bring together all your issues within the complaint
  • You contact the right people at the right time
  • You are prepared for meetings
  • Someone will come to meetings with you if that would help
  • You know how NHS complaints work
  • You know how your complaint is progressing
  • You can understand what to expect at the end of your complaint

We can help if:

  • Your complaint is about an NHS service
  • You live, or are registered with a GP in Stockport in between the postcodes SK1 to SK8
  • You want to make a complaint on behalf of a person living in between SK1 to SK8

NHS Complaints Advocacy Stockport
Address: 48 Middle Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 3DL
Phone: 0161 989 0029
(this is a voicemail service so please leave a message and your call will be returned by an advocate)
Email: nhscas@stockportadvocacy.co.uk 
Website: http://www.stockportadvocacy.org.uk

Statutory Advocacy under the Care Act

If you receive care and support services, or may need to receive these, you may have the right to independent advocacy.

Local Authorities must arrange an independent advocate for adults that have substantial difficulty in understanding the information and choices available, or speaking about what they want, and where there is no one else available, including family and friends, who is able to represent the person.

Advocacy must be provided at any stage including wanting information and advice, during a needs assessment, a carers assessment, preparing a care and support or support plan, safeguarding enquiry, safeguarding adults review or if appealing against a local authority decision.

Advocacy under the Care Act in Stockport is provided by Stockport Total Advocacy Trust. Referrals are via Adult Social Care only. If you need help with any of the above things then the Council can arrange an independent advocate to support you.

Non-Statutory Advocacy

Stockport Advocacy are an independent, not-for-profit organisation set up to provide advocacy support for adults over 16 with learning difficulties/disabilities who live within the Stockport area.

Advocacy is about:

  • Making choices
  • Speaking up
  • Helping adults with learning difficulties/disabilities to get their voices and opinions heard

Your advocate can:

  • Help you find information
  • Support you at meetings
  • Give you time to think about your choices
  • Help you say what you want

Your advocate cannot:

  • Make decisions for you
  • Work with you all the time

Stockport Advocacy
Address: 48 Middle Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 3DL
Phone: 0161 480 8979
(this is a voicemail service so please leave a message and your call will be returned by an advocate)

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