During the COVID-19 Pandemic Referrals for advocacy should not stop

Health and social care professionals’ legal duties to refer eligible people for advocacy still apply during the coronavirus pandemic – we are here to help.

The Coronavirus Act and the emergency powers in it may, if and when they are activated, cause changes to the way that you support people throughout this time. However, the Coronavirus Act does NOT include the suspension of people’s rights to advocacy under the Mental Health Act 1983, Mental Capacity Act 2005 or the Care Act 2014. This means that health and social care professionals’ legal duties to refer eligible people for advocacy still apply.

Our advocates are key workers and are ready and able to provide advocacy by phone, video call, or, where essential and following a detailed risk assessment, in person.


As a reminder, the areas we accept referrals for are outlined below:

Where someone may be deprived of their liberty, even if the assessment is taking place on paper or by phone

Where the client requires support to engage in decisions about their care and support, including assessments, reviews and changes to their care package

Where someone is undergoing a Safeguarding Review or Enquiry and may lack capacity or have significant difficulty in engaging with the process

Where the client lacks the capacity to make a decision, and cannot be supported by an appropriate person with regards to:

  • Serious medical treatment (including for COVID-19 related symptoms)
  • Care reviews and advanced care planning (including DNACPR notices)
  • Change of accommodation (including discharge from hospital into a different care setting)

Where a detained patient is unable to ask for a Independent Mental Health Advocate or if clients we are already working with are:

  • Being discharged
  • Attending a virtual Mental Health Tribunal
  • In need of support to understand their rights under the Mental Health Act
  • Wanting to appeal their section
  • Looking for help to prepare for their ward rounds, other meetings and appeals

We recognise that hospital staff are under pressure to discharge people as quickly as possible. If someone is being discharged to a care setting that they were not in before they came to hospital, you must still refer for an advocate, we can follow up with the person once they are in their new care setting.

If you think advocacy could support any of your clients at this time, please contact our referrals team for advice, please note we are operating an answerphone system so leave a message and we will come back to you:
Access Team:

If you are unsure which service you require or have clients with a Health and Social care need that do not fit any of the above criteria, we are happy to discuss what we can do for them and we may be able to work with them under our generic services – if in doubt please call to discuss.