Advocacy information

Do you need help to make decisions about your care and support?

As a local authority, we must involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support. We are required to help people express their wishes and feelings and assist them in making their own decisions.

What is an advocate?

People sometimes need someone to speak on their behalf when they are having health and social care. Advocates are the people who give this support. They act in the person’s best interest to make sure they get the care they need, and make sure their voice is heard. 

Advocates can help the person express their views and wishes and stand up for their rights. They can also help them with practical things like write letters and go to meetings with them.

An advocate can also help a person to make and challenge a decision made about their care.

Should I have an advocate?

Some people must be offered the chance to have an advocate by law. This law is part of the Mental Health Act 2983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Care Act 2014. 

This includes people who have ‘substantial difficulty’ with:

  • understanding information provided to you
  • remembering information
  • using the information, for example, to make a decision 
  • expressing your views, feelings or needs

If you have ‘substantial difficulty’ with any of the above and are making decisions about your care and support you should be asked if you would like your family, friends or carers involved. You should also be asked how you want to involve them. This is your choice, and you can decide not to.

When deciding whether you have a ‘substantial difficulty’ the local authority must consider:

  • any health conditions
  • whether you have learning difficulties
  • any disabilities you have
  • the complexity of your case
  • whether you have refused an assessment before
  • if you are the victim of abuse or at risk of suffering from abuse


If you have learning difficulties, this can increase your chances of being eligible for an independent advocate. If your case is very complex but you don’t have a learning difficulty, you can still be eligible for an independent advocate.

What should I do if I think I need an advocate?

Speak to your Social Worker to let them know your situation and why you think you need an advocate to support you.

You can also contact Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub directly:

21 King Street Wakefield WF1 2SR

telephone: 01924 361050


Advocacy Services In Wakefield

The Wakefield Advocacy Together Hub provide the following types of advocacy:

IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate): For patients detained under the Mental Health Act. This can include people subject to Community Treatment Order or discharged under other restrictions.

Referrals for this type of advocacy support come from; medical professionals, local authority, detained patient, associates of patient.

IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate): For a person who lacks mental capacity to make a decision specific to serious medical treatment or long term accommodation who has no one appropriate to consult on the decision. 

Referrals for this type of advocacy support come from medical professionals or local authority.

Care Act Advocate: For a person taking part in their care review or needs assessment, care and support planning, safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adult review who has difficulty with:

  • remembering information
  • making decisions
  • saying what they want

Paid RPR – Responsible Person Representative: For an individual who has restriction placed on their liberty through a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard authorisation. This may include supporting the person to challenge the authorisation at the Court of Protection. 

Referrals for this type of advocacy support come from social care professionals.

Help us improve

Select how useful the page is
Back to top