Health Advocacy Services (NHS Complaints Advocacy, General Health Advocacy and Independent Mental Health Advocacy)

What is a Health Advocacy Service?

**THIS CONSULTATION IS NOW CLOSED**

Health Advocacy services help people – particularly those who are most vulnerable in society – to:

  • access information and services regarding their healthcare
  • be involved in making decisions about their health and lives
  • explore choices and options available to them for their healthcare and treatment
  • defend and promote their rights, and speak out about issues that matter to them
  • make complaints about receiving treatment and care in a health setting

What Health Advocacy Services do we commission?

Warwickshire County Council, through public health currently commissions three Health Advocacy Services:

NHS Complaints Advocacy: NHS Complaints Advocacy is a statutory service, which means that local authorities are required by law to make arrangements for it to be provided. This service supports people who want to raise and resolve a complaint about the NHS Services range from provision of self-help and signposting for those individuals who would like to advocate for themselves, through to individual support direct from an advocate.

General Health Advocacy: This is a non-statutory advocacy service available to NHS patients with more complex needs, including physical or learning disabilities, and patients aged 65 years and above. This service particularly supports individuals at the point of discharge from hospital, but individuals accessing general NHS treatment can also receive support where they have an issue that is impacting on on their health.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA):  This is a statutory service that supports individuals who are being treated and sectioned under the Mental Health Act who have a legal right to an IMHA.

The IMHA service is also available to people who are accessing mental health services as an informal in-patient (not sectioned under the Mental Health Act), and to people who are accessing specialist mental health services in the community. This part of the service is non-statutory.

Please note that there are also a number of other Advocacy Services that are commissioned by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) that are not included in this consultation. This includes Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) or Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Advocacy (DolS) commissioned by WCC People Group.

What changes are we proposing to make to the Health Advocacy Services provision in Warwickshire?

There are 3 key changes that we are proposing:

  • Access to Health Advocacy Services: Deliver the three Health Advocacy services as one service, delivered by one provider (or one partnership of providers).
  • Timescales for Service: Prioritise statutory referrals to ensure that they are seen within the appropriate statutory timescales, and have flexible response times for non-statutory referrals.
  • Partnership working with Healthwatch: Create a stronger partnership between our local Health Advocacy Services and our local Healthwatch service.

These changes are described in more detail in the survey.

Why are we doing this consultation?

We know that these services are an important provision for many individuals, and we are seeking the views and opinions of as many individuals as possible, to help us shape how these services are delivered moving forward. This consultation provides an opportunity for you to shape and influence Health Advocacy Services in Warwickshire. We want to work with you to ensure that we appropriately direct the resources to the right people, at the right time and in the right place.

The consultation process will start on Friday 9th June 2017 and finish on the Monday 31 July 2017.

You can tell us what you think about the proposed service model by completing the questionnaire HERE or you can request a paper version of the questionnaire by contacting phconsultations@warwickshire.gov.uk. You can also request additional copies of the questionnaire or ask for this in another format such as large print, through the same contact phconsultations@warwickshire.gov.uk.

What will happen with the information that we gather?

The information/data collected by this survey will be kept strictly confidential and shared only with Warwickshire County Council staff responsible for analysis of the data and those responsible for the commissioning of Health Advocacy Services. All data will be stored securely and erased within four years.

All comments, feedback and information we receive will be used to inform how future health advocacy services are delivered. You will not, in any way, be identifiable in the survey analysis from your responses and any comments will be anonymous. The findings from the consultation will be presented to Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet, for their approval to commence a tender process for these services.

Please do not provide any additional correspondence to our surveys as personal information, may be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998. If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, including your contact details, please tell us why, but be aware that, under the Freedom of Information Act, we cannot always guarantee confidentiality.

For further information see www.warwickshire.gov.uk/privacy.

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