John lives in his own flat supported by carers he knows well. John has a condition which affects his mobility and speech, making it difficult for him to express himself and be understood by those around him.
John’s package of care had been reduced following an assessment from his local authority. This led to a change in his package of care, including cancellation of his sessions at day care and a new cheaper care agency being put in place to provide care to John. John was able to express to his advocate over a number of visits that he was upset about the new carers coming into his home and that he missed going to the day centre and missed going out.
An advocate worked with John to complain to his local authority about the changes that had been made to his package of care and to express concern about the impact this had on his wellbeing. Following the advocate’s request, the original package of care was reinstated whilst a new assessment was carried out and a new social worker was appointed. The new social worker carried out a new assessment of John’s needs.
The outcome of the assessment was that there were still insufficient funds to meet John’s care needs. The advocate helped John draw up his care and support plan with the social worker, which highlighted the gaps in care and support under the new assessment. Some improvements were made and the amount of care was increased, however the care still fell short of the level of needs John had. The advocate challenged the assessment through the complaints procedure and on discussion with John made a complaint about the local authority to the Local Government Ombudsman. The advocate requested that further assessments be carried out as part of this process by the Occupational and the Speech and Language Therapists. These assessments showed that John had complex needs which required more support.
Following these assessments and the Ombudsman’s findings, John’s package of care was increased to enable all his needs to be met, including his needs around his social and leisure activities. The carers he was familiar with were able to continue to care for him in his own flat with a level of care and support which fully met his needs.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.