Advice and support
Having someone to speak on your behalf is often known as advocacy.
Advocacy means having someone who will express your views and wishes, secure your rights and represent your interests. It safeguards people who are vulnerable by speaking up for them. It enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people and those with mental health needs to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care.
Advocacy is completely independent from the organisations that provide social care services. Advocates act only according to the wishes of the person they are speaking for. They do not take their own view of what is best, or try to influence the person to make a different choice
Advocacy services are not offered by the Council but there are a number of local organisations that can act as independent advocates.
Advocacy partners - POhWER
Professional Advocacy and Citizen Advocacy for people with learning disabilities, POhWER provide the following advocacy services:
Community Advocates support a person in dealing with a particular problem or issue at a specific time, the partnership will cease once the problem has been resolved or the issue addressed.
Citizen Advocacy is the development of a longer term one to one relationship between a person and a volunteer advocate. Citizen Advocacy involves the creation of long term partnerships between two people, the volunteer advocate or citizen advocate and the person seeking the support.
The Citizen Advocate:
- Helps the other to safeguard their human rights
- Provides the other with moral support
- Gives some practical help
Peer advocates have similar life experiences, challenges or difficulties to their advocacy partner. Peer Advocates are a network of Experts by Experience working alongside individuals to enable other person to speak up for themselves.
A self advocacy group offers mutual support, skills development and a common call for change. It enables people to speak up on their own behalf either as a member of a group or as an individual.
For more information or to contact:
Phone: 0300 200 0085
Citizens Advice Bureau
You can get independent advice from the Richmond Citizen’s Advice Bureau Service (RCABS) - their staff can also help with drafting complaints. There are three main offices in the borough:
- Richmond: 020 8940 2501
- Sheen: 020 8876 1513
- Twickenham: 020 8892 5917
Ethnic Minorities Advocacy Group
Provides advocacy for groups of black or ethnic minority people who face discrimination or racial harassment.
Phone: 020 8744 9251
KAG Advocacy Richmond
KAG helps vulnerable people to have a say in decisions that affect them and how they live their lives.
It offers a range of services, including Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) provided by a specially trained group of staff. IMCA aims to provide additional safeguards for people who lack the capacity to make certain important decisions at the time they need to be made and have no appropriate family or friends to consult.This is whenever:
- Serious medical treatment is being proposed.
- It’s proposed to arrange or change accommodation in a hospital, care home or other long term accommodation and the person will stay in hospital for a period longer than 28 days or in a care home for more than 8 weeks.
An IMCA may also be appointed for someone who lacks capacity in Safeguarding Adults cases or in care/accommodation reviews.
Phone: 020 8744 9251
Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
IMHA services provide an additional safeguard for patients who are subject to the Mental Health Act, and use specialist advocates who are trained to work within the framework of the Act. These services do not replace other advocacy services available to patients, but are intended to operate with them. To find out more, follow the link.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Mental Capacity
DoLS are part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and aim to protect people in care homes and hospitals from being inappropriately deprived of their liberty. These are vulnerable people aged 18 or over who are unable to make decisions for themselves but who are not detained under the Mental Health Act (1983). The Alzheimers Society website contains useful information on DoLS and Mental Capacity.
Complaints about Adult Social Care
Follow this link if you have a concern or complaint