What are advocacy services?

Advocacy services help people and carers to: 

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  • Speak up for themselves
  • Get their voice heard
  • Understand their rights
  • Find and understand information
    • Make decisions about what they need
    • Find the right support for them
    • Tell the important people in their life like family, social workers, carers or support workers, doctors and nurses what they want.

There are different types of advocacy. This includes:

  • Self-advocacy – people speaking up for themselves
  • Peer and group advocacy – people with lived experience supporting others
  • Independent professional advocacy – people who are paid to advocate on behalf of others

Local authorities must involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support and are required to help people express their wishes and feelings, support them in weighing up their options, and assist them in making their own decisions.

Some people have family and friends who can help them speak up for themselves, others may need an independent advocate. An ‘independent advocate’ is someone who is paid to deliver professional advocacy and has had specialist training to make sure they do a good job. 

The statutory duties related to independent advocacy are:

  • NHS Complaints Advocacy
  • Care Act Advocacy
  • Mental Capacity Advocacy
  • Mental Health Advocacy

Advocacy engagement

From June 2019 until September 2019 we have been carrying out engagement activities to inform the future model of advocacy provision planned to start in summer 2020.

Please see below the draft report summarising all of the feedback gathered during the engagement so far.

Draft Advocacy Engagement Report - August 2019

We are organising a follow up drop in session on Tuesday 24 September at the Health and Innovation Centre Treliske, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3FF at 9.30-13.00.

If you would like to attend the drop in session or have any questions or ideas in relation to advocacy services please email

Indicative timeline for redesigning of the new Advocacy service

  • June – early September 2019 – Engagement opportunities with stakeholders to inform the new model for the service
  • September - November 2019 – Approval process for business case
  • November-March 2020 - Tender documents finalised and tender process completed
  • March-June 2020 - Contract awarded and mobilisation period
  • June 2020 - Contract commence