Someone to speak on my behalf
Having someone to speak on your behalf is often known as advocacy.
Advocacy means having someone who will express your views
and wishes, secure your rights and represent your interests. It
safeguards people who are vulnerable by speaking up for them. It
enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people
and those with mental health needs to make informed choices and
decisions about their own health and social care.
Advocacy helps you to access information and services, like
benefit entitlement, and to explore choices and options. Advocacy
is completely independent from the organisations that provide
social care services. Advocates act only according to the wishes of
the person they are speaking for. They do not take their own view
of what is best, or try to influence the person to make a different
choice. Advocacy services are not offered by the Council but there
are a number of local organisations that can act as independent
advocates and their contact details are below.
What is the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service provides
an independent safeguard to support particularly vulnerable people
who lack capacity to make important decisions and who have no-one
to act for them.
The council must consult an IMCA when making decisions for a
person who lacks mental capacity. Advocacy Experience, an
independent provider of professional advocacy services to people in
a range of healthcare settings, now provides this service on behalf
of the Council.
Age UK's Information and Advice Service
Age UK's information and advice service is a free independent
service offered to people over the age of 65 years. Their aim is to
voice your concerns, express your wishes and protect your
rights. They accept referrals from the person themselves or
anyone who knows them, with their agreement.
Speak Out Council
The Speak Out Council is a user-led consultative action forum.
It provides much needed representation for vulnerable people
including hard-to-reach groups such as those who do not attend
traditional services. The Council is run by four Speak Out Leaders
with learning disabilities who represent their peers, with support
Advicehub is a partnership initiative led by the four Citizens
Advice Bureaux of Cambridgeshire and supported by the Big Lottery
Fund. They have developed a central point of advice that will
service the needs of the growing population of Cambridgeshire and
The Advicehub has brought together over 20 advice agencies from
all over the county, who are working together to increase people's
access to specialist advice services when and where they need it
Organisations you can contact
You can contact any of the organisations direct but if you are still unsure Adult Social Care enquiries will be able to advise you. You can contact them from 8.000am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 1.00pm Saturdays, on 0345 045 5202. In an emergency out of normal office hours contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01733 234724.