MB was referred to our service by her care providers who were concerned that she was not appropriately placed. MB was not able to communicate due to her learning disability and her advocacy worker, Gemma, spent time with MB and her carers getting to know her and the situation she faced. When providing non-instructed advocacy it is important to speak to those who know the individual well. It took a couple of months to build up an understanding of MB’s situation as she was not able to tell Gemma what her wishes were.
Non-instructed advocacy requires the time and dedication of a worker in order to represent a view which is in the best interest of the individual and their needs. Gemma made contact with MB’s Social Worker, Psychiatrist and Health workers to find out what they were going to do about the situation that she faced. Gemma put questions to the professionals involved in making decisions about MB’s wellbeing and best interests in line with the non-instructed advocacy guidelines. Gemma also attended various statutory meetings as a representative for MB and consistently reminded others to have her interests in mind with any decisions that were made. As advocacy is independent we are able to focus solely on the service user we are working with.
Gemma was also there to ensure that MB’s rights were met if any legal measures were to be put in place and always reminded the Social Worker that MB should be protected by legal measures and not constrained by them.
Although MB was not able to comment on her advocacy experience, we feel that she benefited from the service. When a life changing decision is being made for a person it is vital that they have an independent voice to represent them whether or not they can communicate their wishes.