Independent advocacy means supporting a person to understand information, express their needs and wishes, secure their rights and represent their interests if they might have substantial difficulty doing so themselves.
The service enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people, carers, and those with mental health needs to make informed choices and decisions about their own wellbeing and social care.
Independent advocates help people to access information and services and to explore their options.
Advocates deliver services independent of West Northamptonshire Council and on an impartial basis. The independent advocate aims to support people in a direct and empowering way by providing them with the necessary information to make their own informed decision.
Advocacy promotes equality, social justice, social inclusion and human rights.
Where an individual does not have the mental capacity to make their own informed decision, it is possible for an independent advocate to speak on their behalf.
Consequently, the independent advocate is an important spokesperson for the individual, giving advice on their rights and making sure they accurately reflect their requests.
POhWER are the independent service commissioned to provide advocates on behalf of the council.
Watch a video about advocacy services from POhWER:Watch a video about advocacy services
Types of advocates
The following are the types of statutory advocates commissioned by West Northamptonshire Council:
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Relevant Person’s Paid Representatives (RPPR)
- Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
- Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA)
- Independent Care Act Advocacy (ICAA)
We can also provide these services at HMP Rye Hill and HMP Onley prisons.
How an advocate can help
- provide support for the person who lacks mental capacity or has substantial difficulty being fully involved
- represent the person without capacity in discussions about any proposed course of action or treatment
- provide information to inform what is in a person's best interest
- question or challenge decisions that are not in the best interests or need clarification for the person lacking capacity
- present the individual's views, wishes and interests to inform the decision maker for a 'Best Interest Decision' by the professional during the process
- access health and social care records to support and represent you
Local advocacy services
The following leaflets are provided by POhWER, our independent advocacy provider:
- West Northamptonshire Independent Mental Health Advocacy leaflet
- West Northamptonshire Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy leaflet
- West Northamptonshire Relevant Person's Paid Representative leaflet
- West Northamptonshire Independent Health Complaints Advocacy leaflet
- West Northamptonshire Care Act Advocacy leaflet
Download a referral form
You can refer yourself for IMHA or IHCA support.
Download a referral form in Microsoft Word format:
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) referral form
- Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) referral form
- Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA) referral form
- Independent Care Act Advocacy (ICAA) referral form
Last updated 13 November 2023