Only around 50% of people entitled to receive IMHA actually do so, with fewer than 1 in 10 people accessing NHS complaints procedures were provided with advocacy support. A freedom of information request made by Community Care found that independent advocates were provided to just 2.1% of 253,000 people assessed under the Care Act between April and September in 2015.
A lack of decision making support
Most of us, at varying times in our lives, need help to make decisions. This could be a non-judgemental face across the table listening to our aspirations or concern, or it could be much more involved – particularly if we are facing challenging times, or have a condition or impairment that means we face difficulty or lack the capacity to make certain decisions.
A huge part of the advocacy role is to help people make decisions and the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) produced the best guidance a person needs to follow when they are going to make a decision on behalf of an incapacitated person. This process is called Substituted Decision-Making, but does the Act do enough to support this? Kate Mercer Training asks if there are ways to improve three areas of advocacy: the lack of referrals, lack of supported decision making and the lack of challenging decisions.