Someone to speak up for you.
What is an advocate?
An advocate is someone who can help you to understand processes like assessments, safeguarding or Continuing Healthcare (CHC) applications.
They can help you to communicate your views and wishes, or they can speak on your behalf, if appropriate.
An advocate is always on your side. An advocate will support you to have the rights and services that you are entitled to.
Types of advocacy
There are different types of advocacy, including:
- Care Act 2014 advocacy.
- Issues-based advocacy.
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA).
- Carers Advocacy.
- Continuing Health Care (CHC) advocacy.
- NHS complaints advocacy.
- Mental health advocacy.
- Advocacy for the armed forces community (AFC) under the Armed Forces Covenant.
Advocacy support services and non-commissioned advocacy services
For other services not arranged or paid for by the local authority click below to search our directory.
Dorset Advocacy's independent advocates help to ensure that your rights are upheld and that your views, wishes and needs are heard, respected and acted upon.
Care Act 2014 advocacy
If you have substantial difficulty in participating and have no-one who is appropriate to help you, Dorset Advocacy can support you with:
local authority care needs and carer assessments
care and support planning
Please note that only social care workers can request an advocate for you and you are not able to refer yourself to this service.
Dorset Advocacy can support you if you need help with a commissioned service you are receiving from BCP Council. They are unable to help with benefits or housing and cannot give legal advice.
You can refer yourself to this service.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
Only medical or social care professionals (e.g. doctors, social workers) can refer you to this service.
You are eligible for an IMCA if:
- you are over the age of 16; and
- you are facing a decision about serious medical treatment, a change of accommodation, or are involved in a safeguarding enquiry; and
- you are assessed as not having capacity to make the decision; and
- you do not have anyone to help you such as family or a friend.
If you are an unpaid carer an advocate can help you with:
care assessments and support planning;
- getting services and support for yourself or the person you care for;
- meetings with Adult Social Care to assess your needs or the needs of the person you care for;
- helping you to raise problems you are having.
You can refer yourself to this service.
Continuing Health Care (CHC) advocacy
Help with applying for CHC or with appeals.
In many cases, the person needing the CHC funding will be too unwell to make a referral, so their family, carers or professionals can do it on their behalf. However, if you are well enough you can refer yourself to this service.
There is no charge to you for advocacy services from Dorset Advocacy. The service is funded by local authorities for anyone who is eligible.
Supporting you if you have not had the service you expect from a service provided or paid for by the NHS.
NHS complaints advocacy
A free and confidential service available to anyone who needs support to make a complaint to the NHS.
Visit www.theadvocacypeople.org.uk (opens in a new window) or phone 0330 440 9000.
A free and confidential service for any adult or young person who is subject to the Mental Health Act 1983.
Independent Mental Health Act Advocacy (IMHA) is a free and confidential service for any adult or young person who is subject to the Mental Health Act 1983 and needs advocacy support. This means most people who are detained or 'sectioned' under the Act.
Community-based mental health advocacy is available to anyone over 18 years old experiencing mental health problems.
Find out more at www.dorsetmentalhealthforum.org.uk/advocacy (opens in a new window), email email@example.com or phone 01305 261483.
Transition from military to civilian life can be difficult but there are people who can support you along the way.
Provided locally by the Pan-Dorset Dorset Armed Forces Covenant Programme
The Dorset Armed Forces Covenant Programme supports the whole armed forces community:
- current serving personnel (including reservists)
- families of serving personnel
- bereaved family members
They can either support you themselves, make introductions for you to other services, or support you to contact other organisations. Services are available to support you with every aspect of life including housing, employment, finances and health.
To access the pan-Dorset programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Provided by the Armed Forces Community Health and Welfare Team
This service is provided to ensure members of the AFC are supported to access services that provide health and social care support. It is open to anyone in the AFC within the county of Dorset.
To access the service email email@example.com or phone 01202 584428.
The Veterans Gateway puts veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need. Go to the Veterans Gateway (opens in a new window) website.
The Veterans Advocacy People -advocacy for veterans and their families after military service. Visit the Veterans Advocacy People (opens in a new window) website.