How to contact your advocate
You can find your advocate in communal areas on the ward. If you like we can chat in a private, quiet room or space. If the advocate is not on the unit, you can give them a call using the number on their poster, which should be on your ward notice board. Your advocate’s phone will be on between 9-5 every weekday.
How your advocate can help
- Support you in understanding your rights under the Mental Health Act (1983), also to understand the rights that people close to you (like your nearest relative) have and any restriction that apply.
- Support you to get information on any medical treatment you may be given, reasons for this and also the safeguards in place.
- Attend meetings with you – including CPAs, ward round, Tribunals, managers’ hearings and best interests meetings. Support you to raise points or talk on your behalf if you wish.
- Provide support in contacting members of your care team and getting information.
- Your advocate can look at your medical records to gather information, if you ask.
- Signpost and support you to make contact with: solicitors, support groups, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates and other medical services.
- Support you in appealing against decisions that have been made about your finances, including phone bills and benefits.
- Support you in accessing complaints procedures available and submitting complaints.
- Raising issues for you, with members of your multi-disciplinary team on topics such as leave, medication and other matters on the ward.
- Support you in Clinical Governance Meetings to convey views of all service users to the staff.
Above all, your IMHA is there to support you whilst being treated under section. This is because it is important that you have someone independent to express your wants and wishes. Furthermore, care providers have the duty to ensure you have adequate access to this service, so that your rights are protected.
For an exact description of the role of your Independent Mental Health Advocate, please see the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-mental-health-act-1983