Alternative communication methods significantly improves Amber’s advocacy experience and positively influences her overall outcome.

Amber had a complex learning disability and was living a specialist residential care home until having a fall. During her stay in hospital Amber was diagnosed with Leukaemia, but as she had been assessed to lack the capacity to consent to treatment and had no family or close friends, an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) was assigned to support and represent her.

The IMCA was able to communicate with Amber through using Makaton (a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate) learnt through attending training organised by the Swan Senior Management team. This knowledge helped the IMCA understand Amber insofar as what was happening to her, and was able to comprehend how she felt about being in hospital and her experiences. This ability to successfully communicate in this way significantly improved Amber’s experience and understanding about her diagnosis and treatment and care options.