You may need some help to say what you want. An advocate can help you do this.
- An advocate can help you if you have great difficulty with being involved in planning your health or social care, and there is nobody else to support you.
- An advocate can also help you if you are involved in an adult safeguarding enquiry and it is felt that friends or family might not be able to support you.
- Advocates are independent from West Sussex County Council or their partner organisations (such as hospitals, or mental health services).
- Independent advocates can help you if you are in hospital, residential or nursing care, or if you live in your own home.
- They do not tell you what to do, or make judgements about you. Instead they will support you to make choices and say what you want from services.
- If you are not able to say what you want for yourself, they will find out what is important to you, and make sure anybody making decisions takes this into account.
- This service is free of charge.
If you think it will be difficult for you to be involved in decisions about your health or social care, then think if you know somebody who can help you.
It does not need to be a family member; it can be a close friend.
If there is nobody able to help you at the moment, then try and tell the social care worker or health care worker that you need help to get involved.
Healthwatch West Sussex provides a free and independent health complaints advocacy service, which helps local people explore options for getting their voice heard when they feel something has gone wrong with their health service.
Advocates support local people to explore their complaint options and can provide practical assistance, ranging from help in writing a complaint letter, attending a resolution meeting, and putting your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.
You can find out more on the Healthwatch West Sussex Website, which also has a range of self-help material and guides.
If you have great difficulty being involved in planning your social care support, and do not have someone else to represent you, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and its partnership organisations must under the Care Act provide you with an (ICAA).
Independent Care Act Advocates can help you:
- be fully involved in your social care assessment, care planning, and review
- if WSCC are supporting you because you are at risk of abuse or neglect.
An Independent Care Act Advocate can:
- listen to you
- obtain information for you, or put you in touch with someone who can
- investigate other sources of support
- find out what your rights are
- help you to plan any action you may need or wish to take
- spend time with you preparing for meetings
- attend meetings with you
- help you to put across your viewpoint to others
- link with relevant agencies on your behalf
The Independent Care Act Advocacy Service is provided by a partnership organisation. Referrals to the ICAA service are made through your social care worker or health care worker.
If you are a social care professional working for an organisation external to West Sussex County Council you can make a referral for an individual using the online form.
You can contact Adults’ CarePoint for more information.
Online: online enquiry form
Phone: 01243 642121
NGT Text Relay: 18001 01243 642121 (Helps people with hearing and speech difficulties communicate over the phone. Available as a downloadable app for computer tablets and smartphones.)
The IMCA service is provided by POhWER, you can find out more on the POhWER website.
The Independent mental capacity advocacy (IMCA) service helps you if you:
- are assessed as lacking mental capacity
- are over 16
- do not have an appropriate family member or friend to.
The IMCA service can support you in the following situations:
- When decisions need to be made about your future long- term accommodation moves, such as from hospital to residential care or serious medical treatment.
- If you are assessed under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and there are no appropriate family members or friends to support you, or you need help to understand your rights.
- If you are involved in an adult safeguarding investigation and there are concerns that your family members or friends will not be able to support you or act in your best interests.
Referrals to the IMCA service are made through your social care worker or health care worker.
The (IMHA) service is provided by Mind, you can find out more on the Mind website. Mind provides two types of advocacy.
Independent Mental Health Advocacy helps you if you:
- are detained in hospital under the heath act
- at risk of being detained in hospital under the mental health act
- are under Community Treatment Orders (CTOs).
Referrals to the IMHA service can be made by yourself or by asking somebody directly involved with your care and treatment to do this with your permission.
Contact the IMHA Service Central Office on
Phone: 01273 666950
If you have a learning disability, an autistic spectrum condition, a physical or sensory impairment or an acquired brain injury this service may help you.
An advocate will work with you to build confidence and speak out about personal issues
You can find out more about advocacy services provided by Impact Initiative on the Adults - Impact Initiatives website.
Contact the Impact advocacy service on
Phone: 01903 730044
You can get support if you
- experience mental health issues and live in the community
- have agreed or asked to stay in a mental health unit voluntarily
- live in the community and want to access mental health services because you believe you have an undiagnosed mental health condition.
You can find out more about community advocacy on the Mind - Community Advocacy website.
Contact the Mental Health Community Advocacy Service on
Phone: 01273 666950