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Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley

Prescot House
3 High Street
Prescot
L34 3LD
T: 0151 426 3174
M: 07484 935748
E: knowsley-advocacy@together-uk.org 

Services offered:

  • Care Act Advocacy
  • Generic Advocacy
  • IMCA
  • IMHA
  • NHS Complaints
  • Parent Advocacy
  • RPR Dols
  • Self Advocacy

Operations and Development Manager: Tracy Moss
Project Manager: Melanie Murphy
Telephone Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (please call to make an appointment)

Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley brings together all advocacy services in Knowlsey 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.

Referral by email and enquiry by telephone and email. Click here to download the referral form.

Generic Advocacy

Generic Advocacy is available for people who are already funded by Adult Social Care or Community Mental Health Services.

Advocates are independent and experienced in helping people to speak up, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.

  • A person who lives within the Borough, who is 18yrs old and has a specific issue they need an Independent Advocate can directly contact the service., The Advocate will take instruction from the caller and speak up on their behalf to NHS or Social Care Services, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.

Services available at

Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley

IMCA

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
  • 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

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

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

The Care Act 2014 says that some people are legally entitled to have an advocate to support them to understand and participate in their health and social care assessments, support plans, reviews or safeguarding enquiries.

A person may be entitled to a Care Act advocate if:

  • They would find it difficult to be actively involved in their care and support plans without an advocate
  • They do not already have someone suitable who can help

A Care Act advocate is independent, qualified and experienced in understanding the health and social care system.

To find out more about Care Act advocacy and how to make a referral click on the links below:

Care Act fact sheets

Care Act easy read information

Return to Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley 

NHS complaints

What services do our NHS complaints advocates offer?

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is a free and independent service that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).

Most of us use the NHS at some point in our lives and many of us use them quite regularly.

The NHS work hard to make sure that people are satisfied with their services and receive good quality treatment.

But things can go wrong.

You may want to complain about a service you have received from the NHS, or you might want to complain on someone else’s behalf. There are different ways to do this.

Our information will help you understand what your options are and how to get the best resolution for you.

Who is the service for?

By law, anyone who wishes to complain about an NHS service is entitled to receive advocacy to help them make their complaint.

How we can help:

We can provide you with information and a self-help pack so you can make a complaint yourself, or you might decide that you need support to make a complaint. Our advocates can work with you to ensure you understand your options and help you to achieve the outcome you are seeking.

Together for Mental Wellbeing has developed some step-by-step guidance to help you feel confident about raising any concerns yourself. You can download the guidance here.

It includes:

  • First Steps – things to think about before making a complaint to the NHS
  • Making a Complaint – guidance on the process for making a complaint to the NHS, as well as what do to if you are unhappy with the response
  • Help and Support – information on where to go for further guidance and support for making a complaint.

A set of resources are also available to help you in the complaints process:

  • Consent Form – for gaining consent to progress an NHS complaint on behalf of a friend, relative or partner
  • Accessing Medical Records Guidance – which may be helpful for providing evidence when making your complaint
  • Complaint Letter Template – as well as tips for writing the letter and keeping track of correspondence
  • Log Sheet – for keeping a record of important conversations and agreements throughout the complaints process

You can ask for an advocate to assist you at any point in your complaint. If you would like an advocate to work with you, please contact the local team.

Our Advocates:

  • Give you an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone independent of the NHS
  • Explore the options available to you at every stage of the complaints procedure
  • Help you with writing effective letters to the right people
  • Prepare you for meetings and attend with you
  • Contact and speak to third parties if you wish us to
  • Help you to think about whether you are happy with the responses you receive from the NHS organisation.

Your advocate will not try to persuade you to take a particular course of action and will always respect your decisions.

Accessing the service

Anyone can make a referral for the NHS Complaints Advocacy service. If you are making a referral for someone other than yourself you will need their consent to do so.

Parent Advocacy

Parent Advocacy is a limited service for parents who are presently funded and supported by Adult Social Care or Community Mental Health Team and are involved with child protection and family court proceedings.

Independent Advocates help parents understand information being shared by a range of professionals involved in the child protection and family court process.

Services available with:

  • Advocacy Hub Knowsley
  • Advocacy Hub Rochdale

Self Advocacy 

All Together Advocacy Hubs adhere to the Advocacy Charter.  Each case is supported to ensure that the person is at the centre of the decision and is encouraged to Self Advocate whenever possible.

Service available at:

  • Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley
  • Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub
  • Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

Together Advocacy Hub Volunteer Scheme

The Volunteer Scheme supports local people including Service Users to engage fully with the Advocacy Service by offering a small number of volunteer hours.

The Volunteer Scheme will support candidates to

  • attend the 6 week induction training
  • identify a volunteer role from the choice available
  • If the candidate completes the induction training they will be funded to complete the Enhanced DBS.

The Scheme will fund the volunteer with travel expenses, and involve the volunteer into training and learning sessions relevant to the nature of the service. The Volunteer will shadow paid Advocates and will learn alongside the team to enhance their skills.

The Volunteer Scheme will train volunteers to support persons contacting the service who do not fit within the paid Advocacy remit.  The Volunteer will be trained to speak to callers and to engage persons to Self Advocate to reach their outcome.  Volunteers will also support callers to engage with alternative services that are able to support their needs.

Service User Leadership Groups

At the Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub, the Volunteer Scheme support existing Groups in the community to engage fully with making changes in their locality.

Groups are presently supported by Together in Wakefield, Lift Up Friends and WAVE.  Both groups support changes in their local borough and identify ways they can engage with the Relevant Partnership Boards to consider a different way to approach support for adults with a Learning Disability and/or Autism.

Group Learning Experience

Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley provide a Group Learning Experience.  This model supports the group to take leadership in identifying their key issue and supporting the members to identify problem solving techniques to take their issue to a resolve.

The Volunteer Coordinator will deliver sessions over 4 weeks to engage the group in identifying their shared goals for change.  The sessions will use accessible activities for all members to engage within their journey to change.

Volunteer Sessions in the Community

The Volunteer Scheme’s support Volunteers to deliver Self Advocacy appointment sessions in the community.  This is to enable easy access to the Volunteer Service.

Service available at:

  • Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley
  • Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub

Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

What is a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR)?

There is legislation to protect people who might be restrained or restricted in a way that amounts to depriving them of their liberty. It is called ​‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ (DoLS). It makes sure that people are only deprived of their liberty when it is in their best interests.

When someone is or may be deprived of their liberty, the law calls them the ​‘Relevant Person’.

The law says the Relevant Person must have a ​‘Representative’ to help make sure their views, wishes and rights are respected.

Sometimes this role is taken by the person’s friend or family member, and sometimes by an advocate. An advocate may be needed if there are no friends or family members suitable to be an RPR or if there is a gap before a new RPR can take up the role.

What does an RPR advocate do?

During a DoLS assessment the advocate will:

  • make sure the person’s views and wishes are taken into account in the decision.

During a DoLS authorisation, if the advocate is the RPR, they will:

  • visit the person regularly to ask their views and wishes and see that they are being cared for well
  • check that the care setting is keeping to any conditions of the authorisation

If necessary, an RPR advocate may request a review of the authorisation or make an application to the Court of Protection to get the authorisation changed or ended.

Even when someone can’t tell their advocate what they want, our advocates will use a range of approaches to establish their views and wishes as far as possible and secure their rights.

An advocate acting as an RPR is sometimes called a PRPR – the ​‘P’ stands for ​‘paid’.

During a DoLS assessment, if a friend or family member is the RPR, the advocate will:

  • feel confident about their role and rights
  • understand their friend or relative’s deprivation of liberty, including any ​‘conditions’ the care home or hospital must meet
  • understand options that have for complaints or applications to the Court of Protection to get the authorisation changed or ended

Depending on the circumstances, the advocate may be supporting the Relevant Person as well as the RPR.