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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:

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

The current provider of independent advocacy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is The Advocacy People. Further information including contact details can be found on The Advocacy People website.

In June 2020 the existing contracts will come to an end and we are currently reviewing, redesigning and recommissioning the adults advocacy provision.

Engagement and consultation

From June 2019 until September 2019 we carried out engagement and consultation activities to inform the future model of advoccay provision planned to start in summer 2020. please find a copy of the report summarising all of the findings below.

Adults Advocacy Engagement Report

Service Specification

In September and October 2019 we shared the draft service specification  for the new Adults Advocacy Service through a soft market test advertised on Supplying the South West. Following the feedback received and the consultation event on 24 September 2019 we finalised the service specification which can be found below.

Adults Advocacy Service Specification

Tender Process

The Adults Advocacy Service tender is now live and suppliers are required to submit bids by 26 January 2020 through the E-tendering portal. The Council actively encourage potential suppliers to register on both Supplying the South West and Contracts Finder. Both portals are free to register for and will send you email notifications when relevant contract opportunities arise. Guidance on how to register on Supplying the South West can be found on the E-tendering and Contract Management page on the Council website.