Sheffield Advocacy Hub
- Opening times:
Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm
- In person & remote
- Adults (over 18)
Sheffield Advocacy Hub is the single point of contact for all independent advocacy in Sheffield. They run in partnership between Citizens Advice Sheffield, Cloverleaf Advocacy and Disability Sheffield.
An advocate is someone who can support you to express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Mind have produced an article called ‘Advocacy in Mental Health’ which can help you understand more about their role.
If you need an advocate for yourself, friends or family, call the Sheffield Advocacy hub on 0800 035 0396 or email email@example.com
If you are a professional and would like to discuss a referral call 0114 226 1674 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Types of Advocacy
The Advocacy Hub provide all statutory advocacy in Sheffield. ‘Statutory advocacy’ is a type of advocacy which you are legally entitled to because of your circumstances.
An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) supports people with issues relating to their mental health care and treatment. They also help people understand their rights under the Mental Health Act. Their job is to support you to understand your rights and options, and to have your views and opinions heard.
They can support you if you are:
- detained under the Mental Health Act (except under short term sections 4, 5, 135 and 136)
- conditionally discharged as a restricted patient
- subject to a Community Treatment Order
- subject to guardianship
- being considered for S57 or S58A treatment, or Electro-Convulsive Therapy
An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) supports people who have been assessed to lack capacity to make a ‘best interest decision’. They are particularly important if you do not have a family member, carer or friends to consult about decisions.
‘Lacking capacity’ means you are not able to make certain decisions. There are lots of reasons why someone may lack capacity, including: a mental illness; a learning disability; being unconscious; or dementia.
A ‘best interest decision’ is a decision made on the behalf of someone who lacks capacity. An IMCA can support you with best interest decisions about:
- long-term accommodation
- serious medical treatment
An IMCA can also provide support if you are to be ‘deprived of your liberty’. This usually means that you have been assessed to lack capacity and you are under continuous supervision and control, and you are not free to leave.Back to top
An NHS Complaints Advocate can support you to complain about the treatment and care that you, or someone you know, has experienced on the NHS. They do not work for the NHS.Back to top
An advocate can help you understand your rights under the Care Act 2014. You can access this advocacy if these three things are true:
- you are having either: a social care needs assessment; carers assessment; care planning; care review; S42 safeguarding investigation
- without support, you would have substantial difficulty being involved in your care
- you do not have an appropriate family member, carer, or friend who can advocate for you
There are some exceptions to this rule that you can read about here.Back to top
Some people who have been assessed under the Mental Health Act lack capacity to make decisions about their care or where they live. This means they have been ‘deprived of their liberty’. When this happens, the local authority (which is referred to as the ‘Supervisory Body’) has to check in on the person to make sure they are only restricted enough to keep them safe, and that this is done in their best interests.
The representative’s role is to visit regularly, make sure that the carers are acting in the person’s best interests, and if necessary ask the Supervisory Body to review their decision.
The representative can also apply to the Court of Protection to ask the Court to review the deprivation of liberty on the person’s behalf.Back to top