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Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub

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

Services offered:

  • Care Act Advocacy
  • Generic Advocacy
  • IMCA
  • IMHA
  • RPR Dols
  • Rule 1.2 Representative
  • Self Advocacy

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)

    • Serious medical treatment
    • Accommodation changes that are for more than 28 days in hospital or 8 weeks in non-hospital accommodation
    • Deprivation of Liberty

      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:

  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Easy Read Guide
  • 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 (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.

Independent Mental Health Advocate Easy Read Guide

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.

Care Act Advocate Easy Read Guide

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

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

Self Advocacy Easy Read Guide

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.

Advocacy Hub Volunteer Scheme Easy Read Guide

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 Advocacy

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.

Paid Relevant Persons Representative Advocacy Easy Read Guide

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.

Rule 1.2 Representative Advocacy

When a person is deprived of their liberty in a community or domestic setting.

Where the person has no family, an advocate may be appointed to be the Rule 1.2 Representative.

A Rule 1.2 Representative is someone who is able to consider whether, from the perspective of the person’s best interests, they agree or do not agree that the Court should authorise the person’s package of care and support, resulting in a deprivation of their liberty, in either a community or domestic setting.

Where the person has no family, an advocate may be appointed to be the Rule 1.2 Representative.

Rule 1.2 Representative Advocacy Easy Read Guide

When to refer

Make a referral for an RPR when:

  • a person is going to be assessed for potential deprivation of liberty
  • a friend or family member acting as an RPR requests support

a person is subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisation and there is no friend or family member suitable to be the RPR