Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

Contact details

Address, phone and email

144 Drake Street
OL16 1PS
01706 641389

Services offered:

IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate)
IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)
Care Act Advocacy
NHS complaints advocates
Together Advocacy Hub Volunteer Scheme
Self Advocacy
Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Advocacy
Rule 1.2 Representative Advocacy

Service Manager: Alex Clarke
Head of Regional Operations: Steve Powter

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale brings together all advocacy services in Rochdale 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.

Our advocacy services are always independent and not influenced by any other support a person may be receiving from other organisations, ensuring we can fully represent their views and wishes while valuing and learning from their lived experiences.

Make a Referral to Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

Referral by email and enquiry by telephone and email.

Click here to download the referral form

To find out more about each type of advocacy support we offer click on the links below:

Advocacy types we provide:

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

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
  • 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.

What services do Together’s IMHAs offer?

Our IMHAs give information on, and help individuals 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 person 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 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 respond 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.

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 regarding your care and treatment. 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 challenging their circumstances, 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 it 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 out if you can be referred.

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 care and treatment you may have received by the  National Health Service (NHS).

Most of us use the NHS at some point in our lives and many of us use their services 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.

NHS Complaints Advocate Easy Read Guide

Who is the service for?

By law, anyone who wishes to complain about an NHS service is entitled to advocacy support 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 is  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 would like 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 to the NHS Complaints Advocacy service. If you are making a referral for someone other than yourself, you will need their consent to do so.

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

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.

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 enrol 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.

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.

Volunteer Sessions in the Community

The Volunteer Schemes support volunteers to deliver self-advocacy appointment sessions in the community.  This is to enable easy access to the Volunteer Service.

Service available at:

  • Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub
  • Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

All Together Advocacy Hubs adhere to the Advocacy Charter.  Each case is supported to ensure that the person is at the centre of decisions being made and is encouraged to self-advocate whenever possible.

Service available at:

  • Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub
  • Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale

Self Advocacy Easy Read Guide

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. This is referred to as ​‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ (DoLS). It ensures 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 refers to the individual as 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:

  • Ensure 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 well cared for
  • 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.

Please note, this form of advocacy is available at Advocacy Together Hub Rochdale but is not part of the arranged contract with the provider. If you wish to access Rule 1.2 Representative Advocacy please contact us at

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

144 Drake Street
OL16 1PS