The Devon Advocacy Consortium provides an independent, professional advocacy service for people over 16 in Devon and Torbay.
Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and to get the services they need. Advocates can visit you at home or a place of your choice and if an advocate can’t help they can find someone who will.
An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) is a specialist advocate. The right to an IMHA was introduced in 2007 under amendments to the 1983 Mental Health Act. This gave legal rights to IMHAs which are not available to other advocates. These rights mean that IMHAs may:
- meet qualifying patients in private
- consult with professionals concerned with the patient's care and treatment
- see any records relating to the patient's detention, treatment or after-care, for the purpose of providing help to the patient and where the patient consents
- request access to records where the patient lacks capacity to consent, if accessing the records is necessary to carry out the functions as an IMHA.