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The Health Advocacy Service is an integrated service providing 3 different types of advocacy:
NHS Complaints – this is a statutory requirement and is designed to empower anyone who wishes to resolve a complaint about healthcare commissioned and/or provided by the NHS in England. Clients are supported to resolve a complaint about healthcare commissioned and/or provided by the NHS in England.
There are two levels of support: guidance through information and advice to enable self-advocacy (level 1) and direct advocacy support from a VoiceAbility advocate (level 2).
General Health – this is for people who need support to have a say in their care or treatment or to plan their discharge from hospital. This will usually include people with a physical or learning disability, people with a mental health disability being treated in a general acute hospital or people over the age of 65. Clients who are undergoing NHS treatment are supported to maintain their independence and quality of life, and seek to de-escalate potential crises through early intervention and prevention approaches. There are two levels of support:
Guidance through information and advice to enable self-advocacy (level 1) and direct advocacy support from a VoiceAbility advocate (level 2).
IMHA – this is for people who are being treated in a local mental health hospital or are accessing local NHS community based mental health services. Support will be provided so that people can, amongst other things, be fully involved in decisions about their mental health care and treatment, access information about their rights under the Mental Health Act and apply and prepare for a Mental Health Tribunal. Advocates will ensure that mental health patients are aware of and supported to exercise their legal rights and safeguards whilst accessing mental health care and treatment.
NHS Complaints – anyone who has received NHS treatment (including inpatients and outpatients), who would like support to raise and resolve a complaint regarding their NHS care and treatment. It may also be accessed by guardians of children under 16 years of age.
General Health – this service is for people who are receiving NHS treatment and are:
- adults aged 18 years or more and have a physical disability or
- adults aged 18 years or more and have a learning disability or
- adults aged 18 years or more and have a mental health disability, and are being treated in a general acute hospital setting (not mental health inpatient or community setting) or
- older adults aged 65 years or more (can include those with mental health issues not eligible for IMHA)
- others deemed appropriate due to the complexity of issues and the clients vulnerability to advocate for themselves in their healthcare planning, treatment and discharge
IMHA – this service is for:
- people detained in-hospital under qualifying sections of the Mental Health Act (statutory IMHA)
- people who are being treated as an in-hospital patient in a psychiatric setting, and are vulnerable and in need of support (informal inpatient IMHA)
- people who are receiving treatment in the community for mental health issues and who require advocacy support to maintain their independence as much as possible (Community IMHA)
NHS Complaints – self-referral or professional referral
General Health – self-referral or professional referral*
IMHA - statutory - self-referral or referral from a mental health professional
IMHA - informal inpatient - self-referral or referral from a mental health professional
IMHA - community - self-referral, referral from a mental health professional or a GP
* Please note that exclusions may apply - please contact the provider directly for further information.