An effective Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) service is one that delivers good outcomes for the person (sometimes called the 'advocacy partner' or 'partner') receiving the advocacy support. This report looks at the difference that IMHA services can make to the lives of people subject to compulsion under the Mental Health Act 1983. It provides service users, IMHA providers, commissioners and mental health services with information to discuss outcomes, what they are, how they will know they have been achieved, what performance indicators can be used to measure the effectiveness of services, and how outcomes can be measured.
Mental capacity resources and services
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The majority of patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 are eligible, under section 130 of the 2007 Act, to access Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) services. However research has shown that less than half of those qualifying for an IMHA appear to be accessing them. This summary and flowchart provide the essential information needed to implement an open access policy. Open access means qualifying patients are automatically referred to IMHA services unless they object. This approach has implications for IMHA service capacity; resourcing; consent and confidentiality. This summary of how to implement an open access process for IMHA services should be considered in conjunction with the Improving Open Access to IMHA flowchart.
This briefing provides 10 top tips designed to help commissioners to provide good quality Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) services. The tips cover: understanding the role and responsibilities of IMHA; co-production; strategic needs assessment and asset mapping; outcome-based commissioning, quality and cost; meeting diverse needs; engaging with IMHA providers; IMHA and other forms of advocacy; non-instructed advocacy; out of area placements; and links with health service commissioners.
This summary aims to help Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) providers to open up their service to everyone who has the right to use it. Ensuring equalities within IMHA services means reaching all qualifying patients regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, disability, beliefs, sexual orientation or any other characteristics protected by the 2010 Equalities Act. It also means taking these characteristics into careful account and developing a service that can understand their impact and meet people's needs in the best possible way.
This report aims to help Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) services reach everyone who is entitled to their support. It aims to help IMHA providers to achieve the best possible outcomes for all people treated under the Mental Health Act 1983 amended in 2007. Drawing directly on the findings and recommendations of the national review of the quality of IMHA services in England, the report highlights the problem of unequal uptake of IMHA by some groups of ‘qualifying patients' and explores what can be done to change this situation. It highlights the obligations of IMHA services under the Equality Act (2010) and provides concrete suggestions about how to take effective action and improve practice when working with people sharing relevant protected characteristics. It also suggest steps that IMHA providers can take to help them identify, understand, and address the barriers to the full and effective use of their service by everyone who is entitled to access it.
This accessible five minute film focusses on mental health staff’s legal responsibilities to refer people for Independent mental health advocacy, how they can support advocates and the benefits for staff.
This video for health and care managers and staff gives two very different fictionalised examples of how good practice in care needs to take account of an individual's human rights.
Understanding Independent Mental Health Advocacy for mental health staff is about the role of IMHA, who is eligible, and how to support people who used services to access IMHA.
Understanding Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) for people who use mental health services including carers. People who are detained under the Mental Health Act can use the services of IMHA. This publication includes what is IMHA, who can use IMHA and what does IMHA do.
Gaining access to an adult suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse: a guide for social workers and their managers in England
Part of Care Act 2014
The guide has been created to provide information on legal options for gaining access to adults suspected to be at risk of abuse or neglect. The safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014 apply to an adult who: has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs); is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect. The guide is intended as a source of reference in situations of uncertainty, rather than as a learning tool, laying out the potential routes to resolution. Sections of the guide discuss: practical issues and principles in adults safeguarding; the difficulties and duties involved in gaining access; and the legal powers that may be required in gaining access. Links to information on the relevant legislation and case law are included throughout the guide.
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