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Support to help me say what I want to say

Having support to help you say what you want to say is called advocacy.

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is when you get support to:

  • share your views, wishes and feelings
  • be listened to and understood
  • access and understand relevant information
  • explore choices and options
  • make informed choices and decisions about your life
  • access services
  • defend and promote your rights and responsibilities
  • speak out about issues that matter to you
  • be valued and included in your community

What is an Advocate?

Advocacy is provided by an advocate who will work with you to:

  • get your views heard
  • ensure that the correct procedures are followed
  • ensure that your rights are met

An advocate can:

  • go with you to meetings or appointments in a supportive role
  • write letters on your behalf
  • speak for you in situations where you don't feel able to speak for yourself

An advocate is independent so will always represent your wishes and best interests.

Who is not an appropriate person to act as an advocate?

An advocate should not be someone:

  • you don't want to support you
  • already providing care or treatment to you in a professional capacity or on a paid basis
  • who is unlikely to be able to, or available to, adequately support your involvement
  • implicated in an enquiry into abuse or neglect or who has been judged by a safeguarding adult review to have failed to prevent abuse or neglect

Where can I get an Advocate?

Independent advocacy

The Care Act 2014 requires Local Authorities to provide access to independent advocacy. Newham commission free and independent advocates through "Voiceability" for all residents that:

  • would have substantial difficulty in being involved in their care and support processes such as assessments, care planning, reviews and safeguarding enquiries.
  • have no one else (carer, family or friend) who can support their involvement

Voiceability Contact Details:
Stratford Advice Arcade
107-109 The Grove
E15 1HP
Telephone: 0208 900 2221

Voiceability Website

NHS Complaints Advocacy

Newham Healthwatch provides NHS Complaints Advocacy Service. It is a free and independent service for Newham residents that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).

They can provide an interpretation service and discuss any other language / communication needs.

The service is delivered by Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham (MiTHN) on behalf of Healthwatch Newham. Information provided by clients will be shared between Mind and Healthwatch Newham for monitoring purposes. Information will not be shared with any third parties without your consent.

For more information or if you wish to raise a concern, make a formal complaint or simply want to talk to someone about your experience, please contact:

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service Newham
The Resource Centre 200 Chargeable Lane E13 8DW

Call: 0203 828 8245

NHS Complaints Advocacy

Independent advocacy under the Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act requires Local Authorities to provide access to an independent advocate when a customer has been detained in hospital for assessment and treatment.

Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)

An IMHA(Independent Mental Health Advocate) is a specialist mental health advocate. Changes to the Mental Health Act meant that there is a legal duty to provide IMHA advocates for eligible people from April 2009.

Who is entitled to an IMHA?

People will qualify for an IMHA if they are:

  • Detained under the Mental Health Act for assessment and treatment.(This does not include people detained on emergency short term sections, or detained in a place of safety).
  • Conditionally discharged restricted patients.
  • On Supervised Community Treatment Orders or Guardianship Orders.
  • Informal/voluntary patients who are discussing the possibility of serious treatment(e.g. Neurosurgery) for a `mental disorder' (or ECT if the person is under 18 years of age).

What do IMHAs do?

IMHAs can support people to:

  • Understand and asset their rights under the Mental Health Act 2005
  • Know about and understand any conditions or restrictions that might apply to them
  • Understand different medical treatment options, and the legal authority that the hospital has to carry them out
  • Appeal against being detained in hospital for assessment or treatment

VoiceAbility provides an IMHA service in Newham within in-patient and community settings.

Please contact their office for any further information or to make a referral.

VoiceAbility Stratford Advice Arcade
107-109 The Grove, Stratford, London,E15 1HP
Telephone: 0203 355 712

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates(IMCA)

IMCA is a group of specialist advocates who provide safeguards for adults when they lack mental capacity to make important decisions.

The IMCA support and represent the person in the decision-making process. Essentially they make sure that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is being followed.

An IMCA must be instructed for people in the following circumstances:

  • The person is aged 16 or over
  • A decision needs to be made about either a long-term change in accommodation or serious medical treatment
  • The person lacks capacity to make that decision, and
  • There is no one independent of services, such as family member or friend, who is "appropriate to consult"

Voiceability provides our IMCA service and can be contacted at the following:

Stratford Advice Arcade
107-109 The Grove
London, E15 1HP

Telephone: 0203 355 7142

Mental Capacity Overview

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates

Useful Contacts

For a list of organisations that provide advocacy services in Newham, click on the directory link below and enter your postcode:

Advocacy in Newham ​​​​​​