Advocacy News Spring 2023

Updating the Code of Practice and Advocacy QPM

The Advocacy QPM and Code of Practice are both in need of some updates to ensure they continue to support the best quality advocacy delivery. We are going to be completing updates over the summer. We would love to bring together a small working group of individuals and organisations to help us ensure we get the updates right and that they support advocates and advocacy providers in delivering high-quality, independent advocacy. We want to hear from advocates and advocacy providers (small and large), people who access advocacy, commissioners of independent advocacy and other colleagues who work alongside advocates. If you’d be interested in joining the working group, please register here. We’ll be in touch with more information about the plans at the end of May.. 

Nominations for the Advocacy Awards are Open

The Annual Advocacy Awards, hosted by Black belt advocacy, are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of advocacy.  Nominations are open now and the awards ceremony will take place in November 2023

There are five categories people and organisations can be nominated in:

1.      Outstanding advocate

2.      Outstanding service

3.      Best co-production

4.      Outstanding contribution to equality and diversity

5.      Best supporter of advocacy

To find out more and to make a nomination click here

DHSC Mental Health Act Culturally Appropriate Advocacy  Pilots Procurement 

The Department of Health and Social Care launched the procurement process for a second phase of Mental Health Act Culturally Appropriate Advocacy pilots. As part of this procurement, they are seeking suppliers (including in consortium) to bid to take forward one of three pilots across England. This will comprise suppliers designing, developing, and delivering models of Culturally Appropriate Advocacy, which support and respond appropriately to the diverse needs of people from ethnic minority groups who are subject to the Mental Health Act in both in-patient and community settings. This procurement follows a first phase of pilots which took place between late 2021 and mid-2022 and is being taken forward as part of the broader Mental Health Act reform agenda.

The relevant procurement documentation – including the service specification and the invitation to tender, both of which provide further detail on the requirement and tendering process – is accessible via the Department’s e-sourcing portal, Atamis: Atamis Contracts Search – Culturally Appropriate Advocacy pilots. Please note you will need to register in order to access the relevant documents. The closing date for the receipt of tenders is noon on 17 May 2023.


Leaders in Advocacy Group is hosting a free workshop free Webinar on Culturally Appropriate Advocacy A free 90 minute workshop to learn and explore what makes Culturally Appropriate Advocacy effective. In the first part of the session, you will hear from Anthony Salla and Doreen Joseph, researchers who evaluated the initial culturally appropriate advocacy pilots and training, about what is working.  Part 2 of the session will be in the form of a panel discussion, chaired by Fazeela Hafejee, including leaders from the organisations who delivered the pilots.
Date: 23 May 2023 Time: 11am Click here to register

Community Led Support – Online festival is being held on 16 and 17 May – to find out more or book places click here

Recent publications

There have been several important publications that reference and report on access to advocacy and highlight the importance of advocacy support to people when key decisions are being made. Please do find some time to read up on the following:

Learning from the Whorlton Hall Safeguarding Adult Review The review found that current arrangements for the commissioning and oversight of advocacy services and the skill requirements of independent advocates, are inadequate for people with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic, who are in-patients in specialist mental health hospitals or who are at risk of becoming in-patients. This leaves people in the most high-risk settings, the least well served and creates a false security that advocacy is in place. The Summary report was published by SCIE in December 2022: Whorlton Hall Safeguarding Adult Review. A webinar relating to the review can also be seen here

The new Dynamic support register and Care (Education) and Treatment Review policy and guidwas published in January 2023. It has important information for advocacy                      providers and and advocates and includes a chapter on the importance of advocacy.

Safe and wellbeing reviews: thematic review and lessons learned was published in February 2023. It is important reading for advocates and advocacy providers – Theme 3 is all about advocacy.

Personal Health Budget (PHB) Quality Framework was published in February 2023and talks about the role of advocacy in supporting people’s access to PHBs.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission published a report on their inquiry into Challenging adult social care decisions in England and Wales in February 2023Chapter 2.3 is about advocacy.

In March the University of Birmingham and Changing our Lives published a report and videos about why people with a learning disability and autistic people are getting stuck in hospitals as well as some top tips for helping people leave hospital.  You can read the report and watch the videos here

In March 2023, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen published their NHS Complaint Standards pilot evaluation report, as well as the updated NHSE complaint standards materials 

In January 2023, The Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill published their report following their consideration of the draft bill, including changes to rights to advocacy. You can find the report and Easy Read version here.

On 5 April 2023, The Government announced that it would delay the implementation of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 until “beyond the life of this Parliament.” You can read the letter here

Training resources

Free training resource on trauma-informed practice: The Gift of Reconnection: Trauma-Informed Practice training