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Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub

21 King Street
Wakefield
WF1 2SR
01924 361050
wakefieldadvocacy@together-uk.org

Services offered:

  • Advocacy
  • Care Act Advocacy
  • IMCA
  • IMHA
  • Paid Relevant Persons Representative (PRPR)
  • RPR Dols
  • Support to Self Advocacy Groups

Project Manager: Craig Milburn
Operations and Development Manager: Tracy Moss
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub brings together all statutory advocacy services in Wakefield and provides a single point of referral. Our phone line and email will be answered by a duty advocate who will be able to provide information and guidance about all advocacy services and who can access them. If you think you or someone you are supporting may need advocacy support, please contact our local team and we will be happy to help.

Enquiry by telephone and email, referral by email. Download a referral form.

Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub will be delivering a Volunteer programme to train local people in various roles to support the Hub. Examples include: Supporting Self Advocacy, Assistant to Administrator, Assistant to Paid Relevant Persons Representative (PRPR), Assistant to Duty Advocacate, Events Ambassador, Assistant Trainer, Representative for Raising Awareness.

Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub will be supporting existing and new groups in Wakefield to improve their self-advocacy skills. A program of learning will be delivered by Volunteers to support groups to understand their own abilities to self-advocate.

To find out more about each type of advocacy support that Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub offers, click on the links below:

IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate)

What services do Together’s IMCAs offer?

Our IMCAs work with people who lack capacity to make a specific life changing decision for reasons including, but not limited to, learning disabilities, dementia, mental health needs and acquired brain injury. These decisions concern:

  • Serious medical treatment
  • Accommodation changes that are for more than 28 days in hospital or 8 weeks in non-hospital accommodation
  • Care reviews in relation to accommodation arranged by the LA or NHS
  • Safeguarding Adults (i.e. for Protection of Vulnerable Adults Investigations (POVA) cases)
  • Deprivation of Liberty

Who is eligible?

Under the Mental Capacity Act (2005) the following criteria need to be met in order for individuals to be eligible to be appointed an IMCA:

1) The person must be assessed as lacking capacity to make the specific decision which the IMCA is referred to for, such as:

  • Lacks capacity to consent to or withhold consent for a serious medical treatment
  • Lacks capacity to choose a place of residence
  • Lacks capacity to fully participate in a care review
  • Lacks capacity to consent to formal safeguarding measure/s

2) An IMCA can only be involved if there are no appropriate family or friends that can be consulted on the specific decision. The one exception to this are Adult Safeguarding referrals, where an IMCA may be instructed regardless of whether the person has appropriate relatives or friends.

IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)

What services do Together’s IMHAs offer?

Our IMHAs give information on, and help patients to understand, the legislation they are subject to and how this affects their lives. This may include the conditions or restrictions placed on them and their rights under the MHA 2007. IMHAs can also help the patient to understand what medical treatment is being given or proposed and give information on the authority under which the treatment would be given.

Who is eligible?

  • Patients who are liable to be detained under the MHA 2007
  • Patients subject to guardianship
  • Patients on Supervised Community Treatment Orders (SCT)
  • Informal patients who are discussing the possibility of treatment to which S57 or S58A applies (neurosurgery for mental disorder or ECT for a patient under 18 years).

How we can help

Our IMHAs will meet with the patient in private to discuss issues or concerns relating to their care and treatment. The IMHA will ensure they fully understand the issues and what information is required before agreeing with the patient the appropriate level of support needed. The IMHA will then act on instruction from the patient.

Part of this work may require the IMHA to meet with any person who is professionally involved with the patient’s treatment. The IMHA will also be able to (on instruction from the patient) inspect any records relating to the patient’s detention or treatment and any Social Services Authority records that relate to that individual.

If the patient lacks capacity, the IMHA can still request access to records, however, in this circumstance the person holding the records must consider whether it is appropriate and necessary for the IMHA to have access to the records.

Accessing the service

Referrals can come from anyone and we will always comply if the request is reasonable, however IMHAs have a duty to respond and visit the patient if the request comes from:

  • The patient
  • A responsible clinician
  • An approved Mental Health Professional
  • The nearest relative

Patients can choose not to meet the IMHA or turn down any support offered if they did not make the referral themselves.

Care Act Advocacy

What do Together’s Care Act Advocates offer?

If you receive care services or care for someone who receives services you may have the right to an independent advocate. Our advocates can help you to understand information and processes and explore your options. Advocates can help you to speak up about the care you receive.

Who is the service for?

Under the Care Act (2014) individuals, no matter how complex their needs, must be supported to be involved in planning their support, and making decisions about their care. Where an individual has substantial difficulty in understanding this process, they have a legal right to the support of an independent advocate who will help them to express their wishes and feelings.

You may have the right to support from an advocate if you are:

  • An adult who needs care and support
  • A young person nearing transition to adult care and support
  • A carer of an adult or of a young person in transition
  • A young carer

How can we help?

Under the Care Act we can support and represent people in the following;

  • a needs assessment under the Care Act,
  • a carer’s assessment;
  • the preparation of a care and support plan or support plan,
  • a review of care and support plan or support plan,
  • a child’s needs assessment,
  • a child’s carer’s assessment,
  • a young carer’s assessment,
  • safeguarding procedures.

We can support people by:

  • helping them to understand their rights and to express their views,
  • assisting in the preparation for, or attending meetings concerning their support,
  • helping them to be involved in planning their support, and making decisions about their care.

Accessing the service

Referrals for Care Act Advocacy must come via Adult Social Care or NHS practitioners. They must determine if a person has a ‘substantial difficulty’ in any of the following:

  • understanding relevant information
  • retaining information
  • using or weighing up the information
  • communicating their views, wishes and feelings

You can only access the service if you have a substantial difficulty, and there is no-one appropriate to support you.

Referrals should be made as soon as is clear that someone will have substantial difficulty being involved and that there is no appropriate individual identified to support them. Advocacy should be considered from the first point of contact, request or referral.

If a referral is not made immediately, perhaps because advocacy was not required at that time, a referral can be made at any stage in the care and support process.

If you think you need the support of an advocate you can call us to talk about it and find if you can be referred.

Care Act fact sheets

Care Act easy read information

Support to Self Advocacy Groups

What support can Together provide for Self Advocacy Groups?

Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub can support a group of people with a shared interest to have their voice heard.

We will support self-advocates with the development and running of self-advocacy groups, across the Wakefield Council district.

We will support the involvement of self-advocacy groups in the Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board (LDAPB) and will support LDAPB representatives in their roles to speak up on behalf of those they represent, and in developing work plans and shaping outcomes.