NHS plan independent advocacy service

NHS Ayrshire & Arran needs your help in planning local independent advocacy services in Ayrshire.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the three local authorities have a legal duty to work together to make sure that all adults and children with a mental disorder have access to independent advocacy services. Our joint strategic plan sets out how we will do this over the next three years.

Independent advocacy supports people who may face particular difficulties when trying to make their own needs or wants known.

Andrew Moore, Assistant Director of Nursing - Patient and Community Relations explains: “The aim of independent advocacy is to make sure that vulnerable people are supported to express their own needs and wants and are able to make their own informed decisions.”

Some people need the support of an independent advocate to:

help them express their own needs, views or wishes

speak up for them

access information

explore options

help them make decisions.

We are consulting with the public on the draft joint strategic plan for independent advocacy. This consultation will be over three months, between 1 June 2012 and 31 August 2012.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s last three year plan to develop independent advocacy in Ayrshire came to an end in 2007. Since that time, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been working with East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Council to look at how we commission local independent advocacy services.

Andrew Moore adds: “We are working with local independent advocacy service providers to discuss how we can get better at making sure that all vulnerable people who are entitled to independent advocacy are better supported to do so.

“If you have experience of using independent advocacy services, or if you care for someone who does, please let us know how we can ensure the needs of patients and carers are met.”

You can find out more about the consultation by visiting www.nhsaaa.net and clicking on How to get involved.

If you would like some more information on independent advocacy, visit the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance website at www.siaa.org.uk.