Generic or general advocacy is about providing support to people with mental health and/or capacity needs within health and social care services. This can be across a wide range of day-to-day issues that are important to them but fall outside the remit of statutory advocacy services.
This could involve supporting/representing people at important meetings or signposting to, or helping people make contact with relevant departments, services and agencies. We ensure the person we are supporting are fully involved and understand the process being followed.
Our advocates do this by:
Referrals usually come from the individual seeking advocacy support. We will however act on referrals from other sources, but the person can choose not to meet the advocate or turn down any support offered if they did not make the referral themselves.
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 1983 (amended 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?
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, we will not tell the patient what to do.
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 for a specific reason, 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.
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:
Patients can choose not to meet the IMHA or turn down any support offered if they did not make the referral themselves.