Advocacy Services during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are still actively advocating for our service-users through COVID-19 pandemic with a combination of remote/home working and essential visits.

Connected Voice responded quickly to government lockdown guidance, closed our city centre office and ensured staff were equipped to work safely from home. We have been working well with the following measures in place:

•             A Telephone enquiry service with a duty advocate on hand

•             An electronic referral service with a 5 day response, quicker for urgent cases

•             Reminding referral agencies that we are here and the duty to provide an advocate still applies

•             Team of advocates working from home with necessary IT and communication equipment (mobile phones, tablets, laptops) clear guidance on when and how to carry out essential face to face visits with service-users

•             Advocates are carrying out welfare checks on all service-users currently open to them, and ensuring that they are in receipt of the care and treatment they are entitled to under the relevant legislation and linking them into support and crisis services in the community

•             Teleconference facilities for or web based platforms for service user appointments, tribunals, court hearings, Care and Treatment reviews

•             Web based platforms for internal team meetings, advocate supervisions & appraisals (keeping the team fully briefed and supported)

•             Online training and webinars from local and national solicitors to brief advocates on the new legislation Coronavirus Act and how it impacts on the Mental Health, Mental Capacity and Care Acts

•             Working nationally on campaigns with our colleagues in other advocacy organisations to share good practice and resources to help during the pandemic (this includes template letters to challenge breaches to the Care Act or Mental Capacity Act; template letters to campaign for person centred approaches to resuscitation orders and end of life plans; Myth Busting toolkit on the Coronavirus Act)

Please continue to refer where necessary to our statutory and community based advocacy services  - see our referral section for details. 

IMCA

A person has been assessed as lacking capacity to make a specific decision at a specific time about:

  • Serious Medical Treatment
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Assessment
  • Change of Accommodation
  • AND they have no family or friends who are appropriate to consult with.

IMHA

A person has been detained under the Mental Health Act in hospital or under a Community Treatment Order or Guardianship.

Care Act Advocate

A person is undergoing a care and support needs assessment, review or safeguarding:

  • AND has substantial difficulty understanding the process, retaining and weighing up information, or communicating their feelings.
  • AND they have no family or friends who are appropriate to support them to be involved in the process

RPR

A person is under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Authorisation:

  • AND they have no family or friends who are appropriate to be their independent representation.