Independent Advocacy

  1. Services and Programmes
  2. Independent Advocacy

Cambridge House offers advocacy services in the Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, and Kingston

Protecting the legal and human rights of people living with learning disabilities or mental and physical health conditions by speaking up for them when they cannot and supporting them when they can.

See below for more information on the services we offer, and to view our Self-Advocacy Toolkits for Barking and Dagenham and Kingston.

Self-Advocacy Toolkit links

Barking and Dagenham Advocacy Services and Toolkit

In Barking and Dagenham we provide:

  • Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy:

    NHS complaints advocates support you to complain about the treatment or care that you, a friend or a family member have received from an NHS service. This support is available at all stages of the complaints process. See the NHS Complaints Leaflet

Find out more about NHS Complaints Advocacy

NHS Complaints Advocacy is there to help you understand and support you through the NHS complaints process.

We help to make sure that the NHS listens to you, though this does not mean they will.

Advocates can support you to complain about:

  • a hospital or GP surgery
  • a dentist
  • a pharmacist
  • an optician
  • an NHS funded care home
  • a specialist service
  • the ambulance service
  • NHS community staff
  • other NHS staff or clinicians

Complaints can include:

  • poor treatment or care
  • the attitude of staff
  • poor communication
  • waiting times
  • lack of information
  • failure to diagnose a condition

You can use the information in our self-help kit to help you make your own complaint. 

Download the NHS Complaints Consent form here.

Contact Us:

Telephone: 020 7358 7007

Email: imca@ch1889.org

  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA):

    People may be detained or sectioned in hospital under the Mental Health Act or have their liberty restricted by Community Treatment Orders. Our Advocates help them to understand their rights and communicate their wishes. See the IMHA Service Leaflet

Find out more about IMHA

Through our IMHA service, we support people who have had their freedom restricted on grounds of their mental health. People who are detained or sectioned in hospital under the Mental Health Act, or have had their liberty restricted by Community Treatment Orders or other similarly restrictive orders, have a legal right to understand their situation.

We are here to help people:

  • Understand the rights they are entitled to and the laws they are subject to
  • Define and communicate their views and wishes
  • Share their feelings with staff
  • Fully understand their situation, their treatment, and their future
  • Protect their interests
  • Be more involved in decisions which affect their care and treatment

We are also able to act on people’s behalf when requested, and can help people understand what their loved ones can do for them.

Who qualifies for our service?

  • Anyone who has been sectioned for over 72 hours.
  • Informal or voluntary patients who are being considered for section 57 treatments (neuro surgery/hormonal implants).
  • Residents who: are on Community Treatment Orders (CTO’s); have been conditionally discharged from hospital; are on leave of absence; are subject to guardianship.
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA):

    People who have a mental illness, dementia, or an injury to the brain can be declared by a medical professional as lacking the capacity to make their own decisions. IMCAs ensure that their rights are upheld and that any decision made is in the person’s best interests. See the IMCA Service Leaflet

Find out more about IMCA

Our Independent Mental Capacity Advocates – IMCA – support and protect the liberty of people who have been declared medically unable to make key decisions about their lives.

When a serious decision needs to be made about a person’s change of accommodation or treatment, or there are Safeguarding Concerns or a care review is due, we are able to:

  • Gather information about the person, working to understand his or her views, wishes and beliefs
  • Share this information with social workers or doctors to ensure key decision-makers are aware of the person’s feelings
  • Assess the proposed decision, look into other options, seeks secondary professional opinions and find a viable option which best fits the person’s wishes
  • Challenge decisions where necessary, both formally and informally

In this way, our advocates provide a vital support network which protects vulnerable people’s rights.

Who qualifies for our service?

People who have a mental illness, dementia, or an injury to the brain can be declared by a medical professional as lacking the capacity to make their own decisions. Our advocates work to ensure that their rights and best interests are taken into account. For more information please see our referrers guide to IMCA decisions.

  • Care and Support Advocacy (Care Act):

    Under the Care Act (2014), local authorities must ensure that a person is fully involved when their social care and support needs are being reviewed. Certain people are entitled to an independent advocate to help them to be as involved as possible. See the Care Act Advocacy Leaflet

Find out more about Care and Support Advocacy

Under the Care Act (2014), local authorities have to make sure that a person is fully involved when their social care and support needs are being reviewed. The Care Act entitles certain people to an independent advocate to help them be as involved as possible.

Who qualifies for our service?

The following people may be eligible for a Care Act Advocate arranged by the local authority:

Adults who need care and support and are having their needs assessed, planned, or reviewed.

  • Adults who are the subject of a Safeguarding Enquiry or a Safeguarding Adult Review because they are at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Children or young carers who are approaching the ‘transition’ to adult social care and support when their needs are being assessed.
  • Carers of both adults and children in ‘transition’.

The local authority must arrange an advocate if the person in question satisfies these further two conditions:

  • They are likely to have substantial difficulty being involved in the care and support process.
  • They do not have anyone else appropriate to support them – such as family, a carer or friend.

If a person satisfies these conditions, they have a right to advocacy support no matter what their living situation is; whether they live at home, in a care home, in hospital or are in prison.

  • Relevant Person’s Representative Advocacy (RPR):

    A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) is designed to protect people who are being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home. People in this situation have access to a Relevant Person’s Representative to uphold their best interests. See the RPR Service Leaflet

Find out more about RPR Advocacy
  • The role of the Relevant Person’s Representative is to:
    Provide continuing support and regular contact
  • Ensure that all people involved in the care uphold the person’s rights and act in their best interests
  • Help the person to voice their concerns
  • Assist the person to make a complaint
  • Challenge, both formally and informally, any deprivation of liberty
  • Make an application to the court of protection

Who qualifies for our service?

A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) is designed to protect people who are being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home and to monitor their situation. There are legal safeguards in place which ensure everyone has a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) to uphold their best interests if they are deprived of their liberty.

An advocate can take up role of Relevant Person’s Representative for the duration of a DoLS when there is no one in a person’s life who is willing or able to act as his or her representative. However, if they are willing, a person can have a member of their family or a friend appointed as their representative.

How to make a referral – Barking and Dagenham

To make a referral for a Barking and Dagenham Resident, please download the Barking and Dagenham Advocacy Referral Form

Call us: 020 7358 7007 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

Email us: chadvocacy@ch1889.org

Kingston Advocacy Services and Toolkit

In Kingston we provide:

  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA):

    People may be detained or sectioned in hospital under the Mental Health Act or have their liberty restricted by Community Treatment Orders. Our Advocates help them to understand their rights and communicate their wishes.

    See the IMHA Service Leaflet 

Find out more about IMHA

Through our IMHA service, we support people who have had their freedom restricted on grounds of their mental health. People who are detained or sectioned in hospital under the Mental Health Act, or have had their liberty restricted by Community Treatment Orders or other similarly restrictive orders, have a legal right to understand their situation.

We are here to help people:

  • Understand the rights they are entitled to and the laws they are subject to
  • Define and communicate their views and wishes
  • Share their feelings with staff
  • Fully understand their situation, their treatment, and their future
  • Protect their interests
  • Be more involved in decisions which affect their care and treatment

We are also able to act on people’s behalf when requested, and can help people understand what their loved ones can do for them.

Who qualifies for our service?

  • Anyone who has been sectioned for over 72 hours.
  • Informal or voluntary patients who are being considered for section 57 treatments (neuro surgery/hormonal implants).
  • Residents who: are on Community Treatment Orders (CTO’s); have been conditionally discharged from hospital; are on leave of absence; are subject to guardianship.
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA):

    People who have a mental illness, dementia, or an injury to the brain can be declared by a medical professional as lacking the capacity to make their own decisions. IMCAs ensure that their rights are upheld and that any decision made is in the person’s best interests.

    See the IMCA Service Leaflet

Find out more about IMCA

Our Independent Mental Capacity Advocates – IMCA – support and protect the liberty of people who have been declared medically unable to make key decisions about their lives.

When a serious decision needs to be made about a person’s change of accommodation or treatment, or there are Safeguarding Concerns or a care review is due, we are able to:

  • Gather information about the person, working to understand his or her views, wishes and beliefs
  • Share this information with social workers or doctors to ensure key decision-makers are aware of the person’s feelings
  • Assess the proposed decision, look into other options, seeks secondary professional opinions and find a viable option which best fits the person’s wishes
  • Challenge decisions where necessary, both formally and informally

In this way, our advocates provide a vital support network which protects vulnerable people’s rights.

Who qualifies for our service?

People who have a mental illness, dementia, or an injury to the brain can be declared by a medical professional as lacking the capacity to make their own decisions. Our advocates work to ensure that their rights and best interests are taken into account. For more information please see our referrers guide to IMCA decisions.

  • Care and Support Advocacy (Care Act):

    Under the Care Act (2014), local authorities must ensure that a person is fully involved when their social care and support needs are being reviewed. Certain people are entitled to an independent advocate to help them to be as involved as possible.

    See the Care Act Service Leaflet

Find out more about Care and Support Advocacy

Under the Care Act (2014), local authorities have to make sure that a person is fully involved when their social care and support needs are being reviewed. The Care Act entitles certain people to an independent advocate to help them be as involved as possible.

Who qualifies for our service?

The following people may be eligible for a Care Act Advocate arranged by the local authority:

Adults who need care and support and are having their needs assessed, planned, or reviewed.

  • Adults who are the subject of a Safeguarding Enquiry or a Safeguarding Adult Review because they are at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Children or young carers who are approaching the ‘transition’ to adult social care and support when their needs are being assessed.
  • Carers of both adults and children in ‘transition’.

The local authority must arrange an advocate if the person in question satisfies these further two conditions:

  • They are likely to have substantial difficulty being involved in the care and support process.
  • They do not have anyone else appropriate to support them – such as family, a carer or friend.

If a person satisfies these conditions, they have a right to advocacy support no matter what their living situation is; whether they live at home, in a care home, in hospital or are in prison.

  • Relevant Person’s Representative Advocacy (RPR):

    A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) is designed to protect people who are being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home. People in this situation have access to a Relevant Person’s Representative to uphold their best interests.

    See the RPR Service Leaflet

Find out more about RPR Advocacy
  • The role of the Relevant Person’s Representative is to:
    Provide continuing support and regular contact
  • Ensure that all people involved in the care uphold the person’s rights and act in their best interests
  • Help the person to voice their concerns
  • Assist the person to make a complaint
  • Challenge, both formally and informally, any deprivation of liberty
  • Make an application to the court of protection

Who qualifies for our service?

A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) is designed to protect people who are being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home and to monitor their situation. There are legal safeguards in place which ensure everyone has a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) to uphold their best interests if they are deprived of their liberty.

An advocate can take up role of Relevant Person’s Representative for the duration of a DoLS when there is no one in a person’s life who is willing or able to act as his or her representative. However, if they are willing, a person can have a member of their family or a friend appointed as their representative.

  • Generic Advocacy (Mental Health and Learning Disability):

    We can help certain people to ask for the services they need, search for the right support or challenge any health / social care services they currently receive. We do not provide advice or support work, however we can assist users to access information, guidance and local support.

How to make a referral – Kingston

To make a referral for a Kingston resident, please download the Kingston Advocacy Referral Form.

Call us: 020 7358 7007 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

Email us: imca@ch1889.org

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