Advocacy for adults

Everyone has the right to be listened to and have their views taken seriously. But sometimes it can be difficult to say how you feel or what you want. We can help you to be heard by arranging an independent advocate.

An independent advocate can support you in situations where decisions are made for you. If you lack confidence or are unable to communicate your point of view, they will listen and help your voice be heard.

Under the Care Act 2014, the role of an advocate is to support adults in matters relating to their:

  • mental capacity
  • mental health
  • care and support needs

An advocate can also provide support if an adult wishes to make a complaint about the service or treatment they have received from the NHS.

Independent advocate

An independent advocate is someone who doesn’t work for our Adult Services Team. They will make sure you get your views across and your voice heard. They are on your side and work for you.

You might already know someone that can support you. They could be a family member, a good friend or a personal adviser. They could also be a volunteer or someone independent who is trained to be an advocate. You can discuss who you think would be best with your social worker.

If you are already, or will be, supporting someone with mental capacity issues as an unpaid advocate, you can also ask for the support of an advocate. You may find this helps you to provide better support.

When you might want to use an advocate

You might want to use an advocate if:

  • you feel your views are not being listened to
  • you are unhappy with the way you are being cared for
  • you are angry or upset about something that is happening to you
  • you feel you haven’t been treated fairly
  • no one is telling you what is happening about your situation
  • decisions are being made about you that you haven’t been involved in
  • you want to make a complaint about the NHS
  • you need some support to help you support someone with mental capacity issues

An advocate will:

  • help you speak up for yourself or speak on your behalf if that’s what you want
  • listen to your concerns or worries and help you to act on them
  • be open and honest with you
  • help you challenge decisions
  • help you prepare for meetings
  • explain to professionals how you are feeling
  • explain to you what is happening and what is planned to happen
  • help you to sort out a problem if you are thinking of making a complaint

An advocate does not necessarily make things better. There may be some things that can’t be changed. They will make sure everyone knows how you feel and help you to understand why the decision has been made.


Your advocate must promise to keep what you say private unless you agree to it being passed on. However, they may have to pass on information to Adult Services if they think you might be at risk of harm.

Find out more

Speak to your care manager and they will talk you through it and see if an advocate is what you need.

Get in touch to ask for an Independent Advocate

To ask for an advocate, you can contact your care manager, or Adult Services by:

You can also contact the The Advocacy People by: