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1. Transitions 2. Decisions 3. Court of Protection
4. Lasting Power of Attorney 5. Advocacy 6. Deputyship
7. DWP Appointees 8. When I get Older, What Choices Can I Make? 

 5. What is an advocate?.

An advocate is someone who can help you to speak up for yourself and express your views, or speak up for your interests, if you need help to do so.  An advocate can help you to understand and gather information that you need in making decisions relating to areas such as your health and social care needs.

An advocate can help you to:

  • Understand what is happening
  • Understand your choices and help you make your own decisions
  • Tell others what you want and about your views and feelings
  • Make a report if there has been a decision that you are not happy with
  • Support and represent you if you lack capacity and a decision needs to be made in your best interest
  • Support you to understand your rights if you are detained under the mental health act
  • Support you through any safeguarding process if someone thinks you may be unsafe or at risk of harm
  • Support your carer if they are having difficulties understanding your care needs, or getting the support you need.

An advocate will not:

  • Make decisions for you or give their personal opinion
  • Solve problems for you
  • Give legal advice or legal support
  • Make judgements about you
  • Provide counselling.

Who can be my advocate?

An advocate must be someone who is not employed to provide your care or treatment. A GP, nurse or social worker cannot advocate on your behalf. Your advocate can be an unpaid carer, family member or friend.

If you do not have capacity to make decisions with regards to health or social care needs, for example having medical treatment or going into care, then a health or social care professional can refer you to an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

If you are being detained under the Mental Health Act, you are entitled to help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA). This service is available if you are a hospital patient, on a supervised Community Treatment Order, or under Guardianship.


Referral process

Total Voice/Voiceability Advocacy Hub provides free independent, advocacy support and advice.

All referrals are sent to Total Voice. Support for children and young people under 18 years of age is provided by Barnardos.  Anyone under age 18, who are sectioned under the mental health act, or is lacking capacity, will be supported by Total Voice. Any one 18 years or older, will be supported by Total Voice.


This is a charity which provides free information, advice, support and advocacy in Lincolnshire. They can support people through NHS Complaints process or if you are in secure services.

0300 456 2370

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