Someone to speak up for you (advocate)
If you find it difficult to understand your care and support or find it hard to speak up, there are people who can act as a spokesperson for you.
They make sure you're heard and are called advocates.
For example, they can help you:
- understand the care and support process
- talk about how you feel about your care
- make decisions
- challenge decisions about your care and support if you do not agree with them
- stand up for your rights
They can write letters for you and attend meetings with you.
Advocates will support you during:
- care and support planning
- safeguarding and reviews
Advocates are independent of social services and the NHS.
How your local council can help
Your local council has to provide an advocate if you do not have family or friends to help and you have difficulty:
- understanding and remembering information
- communicating your views
- understanding the pros and cons of different options
A paid carer cannot act as an advocate for you.
How to get an advocate
Contact social care services at your local council and ask about advocacy services. Find your local social care services.
VoiceAbility gives advocacy support. Call their helpline on 0300 303 1660 for advice or use VoiceAbility's online referral form.
Contact your local Age UK to see if they have advocates in your area. Visit Age UK online or call 0800 055 6112.
Links to easy read leaflets:
VoiceAbility: Help with decisions about your treatment, care or support, click here
VoiceAbility: Help to complain about the NHS, click here
VoiceAbility: Help with decisions when you’re in hospital, click here
Page last updated: November 2022
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