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Someone to speak for you: advocacy

Someone to speak for you: advocacy

If you find it difficult to arrange your own care or to represent yourself, you can ask someone to help with making decisions and talk to us for you.

If someone speaks or acts on your behalf when arranging or managing your care, this is called advocacy. You can choose your own advocate or we can provide one for you. They will:

  • help you make decisions about your life
  • speak out about issues that matter to you
  • protect your rights

If you think you need advocacy, use our Contact Care Direct online form so we can suggest the best organisation for you.

Advocates you know

Someone you already know can support you to get your voice heard in a range of situations. Your advocate could be:

  • a family member
  • a friend
  • someone from your community
  • a member of a faith group

Who can use our advocates

We can provide more formal advocacy for adults where you or your carer find it difficult to get care and support services. This could be because you have:

  • learning difficulties
  • mental health problems
  • physical disabilities
  • sensory impairment

We can also provide advocates to the carer of anyone with one or more of these issues, as well as if you’re involved in a safeguarding adults enquiry or review.

When you may need an advocate

  • when we’re assessing or reviewing your care needs
  • if a service is withdrawn or reduced
  • if you have a disagreement with us
  • if you have a disagreement with your carer
  • when you’re discharged from, or admitted to, a home or day centre
  • if you want to make a complaint to us about social care or a complaint about an NHS funded health service

Advocacy help packs

To help you advocate about a health or care complaint for someone else, or for yourself, there are self help packs available for you to use from the group Support, Empower, Advocate and Promote (seAp). They also have easy read leaflets and BSL signed videos for you to use.

Plans for the future

The Care Act means that each council needs to look at how it provides advocacy. We're using this as an opportunity to look at advocacy as a whole in Bristol to see if we could do things better.

See our easy read guide to the Advocacy and HealthWatch recommissioning plan (pdf, 4.6MB) (opens new window) .

Consultation

We want to find out what you want from advocacy services. This includes looking at:

  • the current services in Bristol
  • finding out what works and what doesn’t
  • finding out what you would like to see in the future

To give us your feedback visit our Advocacy and HealthWatch consultation page.