Advocacy Centre North is contracted by Gateshead Council to provide Independent Care Act Advocacy in Gateshead.
We have promoted this service to professionals since 2017 to ensure people's rights are upheld and to ensure that people in need of care and support are fully engaged in the process. We also firmly believe that involving people in decisions about their care and support leads to better outcomes for both service users and providers.
We are proud to say that our promotions for Care Act advocacy have paid off. We have seen a 156% increase in referrals since 2017/18 and we exceeded our annual targets by 54%.
About the Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 (which came into law on April 2015) is designed to ensure the wellbeing of people in need of care and support services. The Act places a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of anyone who appears to require care and support, regardless of their likely eligibility for state-funded care. This duty also applies to their carers.
Importantly, the Act also requires local authorities to involve people in assessments, care and support planning, and reviews. This includes a statutory right to an independent advocate where:
- the person being assessed would have substantial difficulty in being involved/ engaged in these processes, and
- there is no one available to help facilitate this involvement and engagement.
How to refer to this service
Referrals for Care Act Advocacy have to be made via a social worker. If you or someone you know is in need of care and support, you would need to contact Social Services to request an assessment. If you think the person meets the criteria above then you could also mention that they may need an Independent Care Act Advocate to support them.