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Our Services

Advocacy Plus supports all people aged 60 and over living in Westminster 

If you have a problem with your care, housing or health services, we aim to listen to you, agree with you how to solve your problem, speak up for you and get the services you are entitled to.

We also specialise in:

Dementia Advocacy

Advocacy Plus has developed expertise in advocating for people with dementia since 1997 and provides advocacy support for people with dementia living in the Westminster community and in residential care homes.

Dementia Advocacy Network

In 2001 Advocacy Plus established the national Dementia Advocacy Network (DAN), which is managed by Advocacy Plus and has over 250 members across the UK.

DAN provides support, networking and training opportunities to dementia advocates and others working with people with dementia.

Training focuses on understanding the perspective of the person with dementia and on the requirements of non-instructed advocacy. Advocacy Plus has published a guide to this work, which is available by completing the order form below.

Order 'Developments in Dementia Advocacy' book

Link to Dementia Advocacy Network

Link to Ethnic Minority Dementia Advocacy Project Report

Housing Advocacy

Some of the biggest decisions faced by older people involve moving into more appropriate housing - perhaps sheltered housing, a residential home or a move to be nearer to family members.

Other problems may be claiming housing benefits, disputes with a landlord or obtaining repairs or adaptations. In all of these situations, Advocacy Plus provides a skilled advocate who will help a client find the most suitable option and negotiate with the appropriate authorities.

Our housing advocate advises our other advocates on housing law, on the housing options available locally in Westminster and on useful local contacts.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

Advocacy Plus provides Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) for patients aged 65 and over, who are detained on Redwood Ward at the St. Charles Hospital and also general advocacy support for voluntary patients on the ward.

IMHA services provide an additional safeguard for patients who are subject to the powers of the Mental Health Act. This includes people who are ‘sectioned' in hospital, people subject to guardianship, and people subject to Community Treatment Orders.

Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) can support people in obtaining and understanding information that relates to their situation under the Mental Health Act. As well as providing information, an IMHA can help people to exercise their rights, including representation at meetings. An IMHA can also help people in other ways, to ensure they can participate in decisions that are made about their care and treatment.

The IMHA service is very similar to our general advocacy service, providing confidential and independent support and information. However, the role has been strengthened so that an IMHA can, with the client's permission, have access to medical notes, including section papers, and have access to discussions with professionals. However, the principles of our work remain the same and nothing about a client will be discussed without their knowledge and involvement.

General Mental Health Advocacy

We provide mental health advocacy support for Westminster residents aged 60 and over, whether their mental ill health is formally recognised or not. Older people with mental health problems often receive poor treatment from service providers, so by the time they reach Advocacy Plus their problems are more serious. Our advocates are trained in advocating for people with mental health problems and in the communication skills required effectively to support clients with mental ill health.

User Involvement service

We are funded by Westminster City Council and NHS Westminster to seek the views of older residents about the services they receive. We have recruited over 40 volunteers aged over 60 to seek and record the views of older residents and support them to have a say in the planning and monitoring of the services they receive, with the aim of making them more responsive to their needs. 

Outreach and accessibility

Advocacy Plus goes out into the community to speak to people who, for different reasons, find it difficult to obtain services.

For members of Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, Advocacy Plus works with existing community organisations, helping to raise awareness of the benefits of advocacy and of our professionally focused advocacy service for their elders.

We also work with pensioner groups, day centres, sheltered housing schemes, lunch clubs, City Guardians and the Community Nurses teams to ensure that our service is widely known throughout Westminster 

We also make presentations about our service to health, housing and social care professionals in Westminster, with whom we work to support residents to get the services they are entitled to and need.