Advocacy in Manchester: Case study
Updated: September 2020
Last reviewed: September 2022
Manchester City Council, taking a lead from the strong steer within statutory Care Act guidance, has established an integrated, independent advocacy service which embraces the Care Act, Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act and NHS complaints statutory advocacy requirements. The service is known as Gaddum Advocacy, run by Manchester-based charity, Gaddum.
This followed a public consultation and competitive procurement process. The integrated approach received strong support from stakeholders. Advocacy services within Manchester were poorly developed; investment was spread across a number of small contracts which inhibited sustainable investment in management, training and data collection. They had no means by which we could measure need and outcomes.
The specification embraced the SCIE recommendation to retain some flexibility to respond to levels of demand which were likely to grow, but at a rate that may have been difficult to predict. It has taken time for Care Act requirements to be fully absorbed into practice with the consequent peaks and troughs, whilst the Cheshire West MCA judgement has created a sustained increase in demand for Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) services.
Manchester's specification is broken down into two components. A block contract covers the core infrastructure of Gaddum Advocacy including a set number of hours of independent advocacy per year. In addition, a spot contract provides an hourly price at which additional hours may be purchased as demand requires. All Gaddum Advocates are trained to provide a range of Advocacy services to support the individual.
The central function of Gaddum Advocacy is to deliver statutory independent advocacy services as and when required without delay to core assessment and safeguarding processes. Gaddum Advocacy uses integrated webforms to triage and allocate priority referrals. In addition, the specification requires Gaddum Advocacy to bear down on demand and dependency by developing tools to:
- support self-advocacy
- support relatives and friends who come forward to act as informal advocates
- support the valuable role played by the wider charity, voluntary and peer-support sector.