Under the Care Act the council will become responsible for the arrangement of an Independent Advocate to help service users and carers if they are having "substantial difficulty" in being fully involved in social care processes of assessment, care planning, review, safeguarding and accessing information and advice and have no one else to support them.

If you require advocacy support, please contact MyCouncil on 01735 475111 and we will be able to advise you on the appropriate advocacy support available.

Advocacy in Slough

SBC has commissioned 'Advocacy in Slough' to deliver statutory and non-statutory advocacy services within Slough from 1 April 2016.

This will replace all existing advocacy services, other than Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) and Relevant Person’s Representatives (RPR), which will continue to be provided by POhWER until 31 August 2016.

Advocacy in Slough is a partnership of three organisations. The lead provider within this is Surrey Disabled People’s Partnership (SDPP), together with Matrix and Deaf Positives.

What is advocacy

Advocacy is where a qualified person supports an individual who is vulnerable or lacking capacity, helping them express their needs and wishes and secure their rights and services they need. For example, an advocate might go with an individual to GP appointments.

Advocacy can help an individual to:

  • Express their views and concerns during a decision making process
  • Understand their legal rights, medical treatment and any safeguards that apply
  • Access information and understand what is being offered
  • Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
  • Explore choices and options.

In addition to professional referrals, staff and residents can also self-refer. There is no cost to residents for these services.

There are various statutory and non-statutory advocacy services available. Eligibility criteria apply.

Statutory advocacy

  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA).
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) and Relevant Person’s Representatives (RPR).
    Please note: IMCA, DOLS and RPR advocacy will continue to be provided by POhWER until 31 August 2016. From 1 September, 'Advocacy in Slough' will also take over this element.
  • National Health Service Complaints Advocacy (NHS – CA).
  • Care Act Advocacy (CAA) (Support / Assessment, Safeguarding, Carers and Hospital Advocacy).

Non-statutory advocacy

Generic Community Advocacy (GCA). This supports individuals and carers to engage with services in the public, private and voluntary sector in situations not covered by specific legislation but where there is a need for an advocate. Generic Community Advocacy can be delivered in a range of ways including: self-advocacy, peer advocacy, and group advocacy. The service will meet the varied and diverse needs of the borough of Slough:

  • older people
  • carers
  • adults with learning disabilities, mental health, physical disability, autism, autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory impairment
  • transition
  • substance misuse
  • people whose first language is not English

Advocacy in Slough will offer a self-advocacy training programme for service users and carers. This will train people to become more aware of their rights, health and social care processes and support/treatment options so they are more able to advocate for themselves and provide information to others.

Service users and carers who have successfully completed self-advocacy training may be offered the chance to train as volunteer advocates providing they meet the general requirements to become part of the service’s workforce.

Volunteer community advocacy

SDPP will also work closely with SPACE (Slough Prevention Alliance Community Engagement, the council’s commissioned voluntary and community sector provider) to develop a volunteer community advocacy programme within Slough through the Navigation Project.

For more information

SDPP Advocacy in Slough service leaflet.

For more information about advocacy or eligibility criteria, please contact Advocacy in Slough:
Tel: 01753 415299
Text: 07713 711999

For more information about IMCA, DOLS and RPR advocacy, please contact ‘Advocacy in Slough’ for these services:
Tel: 01753 415299
Text: 07713 711999