Non-instructed advocacy

Usually, we ask you what you want and we make an agreement about what we will do to support you.   It doesn’t matter what the advocate’s opinion is of what you want, the advocate is simply there to support you to voice it.

Sometimes the people we work with cannot tell us what they want.  This is not the same as  refusing consent, or being uncertain about their choices, or about making unwise choices

When someone lacks mental capacity, it means they cannot understand information that has been explained to them, or cannot remember the information long enough to think about it, cannot clearly think about their options or they are unable to communicate their views.

Is there a role for an advocate here?

YES in these circumstances an advocate can work according to Non-instructed advocacy principles, following a flexible and tailored approach using a range of models.

Some examples of the things advocates will look at are:

  • Is there an advance statement?
  • Are there any known wishes of the client?
  • Are there people who know the client well and what the client would want?
  • Are the client’s rights respected and upheld?
  • Is the person’s lack of capacity likely to be temporary or permanent?
  • Are there any cultural or religious beliefs?

An advocate DOES NOT:

Offer their own views and opinions as to what they think is best for the patient or what they think is the best course of action to follow.

But they can:

Put forward what is reasonable for that person.

  • Ensuring that the clients’ rights are upheld and that all options have been explored.
  • Representing the client’s interests.
  • Ensuring that alternative courses of action have been considered.
  • Supporting the patient to participate as fully as possible in decision making.

Any of our advocates may use non-instructed advocacy when it is needed.  Our IMCAs and DoLS Representatives use this method most of the time.