NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.
New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.
Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.
If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.
The purpose of the policy is to:-
- Formally set out the role of independent advocacy in healthcare settings ;
- Formally set out the right of patients to access the support of independent advocacy;
- Define the roles and responsibilities of NHS Fife staff with regard to patients’ rights to independent advocacy.
The policy is applicable to all services across NHS Fife and refers to all patients, irrespective of age, gender, race, religion or belief, disability, pregnancy & maternity, marriage & partnership, sex and sexual orientation.
All staff members of NHS Fife must demonstrate an awareness of the policy , staff / service user guidance to fully understand and appreciate the importance and value of independent advocacy for its service users.
4. OPERATIONAL SYSTEM
Independent advocacy can enable people to make informed choices about, and to remain in control of their own care.
- Independent advocacy will help people to access the information they need, to understand the options open to them and to make their wishes and views known. Please refer to appendix A- Patient/ Service User Rights to Independent Advocacy
- Independent advocacy is able to safeguard and protect the rights of people who, for whatever reason, are unable to speak up for themselves. Please refer to appendix B- Staff Guidance- Independent Advocacy for Service Users
- Advocacy for a patient or service user may sometimes be carried out by a family member or carer or other type of relationship. In these circumstances, staff must ensure that the appropriate legal authority is in place to allow the designated person to carry out the independent advocacy role i.e. Adult with Incapacity. Please refer to appendix C – Independent Advocacy – Flowchart for staff
- Where legal authority is not required then staff should ensure that verbal consent is obtained from the patient or service user and that consent is documented in the relevant case notes. Please refer to appendix C – Independent Advocacy – Flowchart for staff
- Staff must inform Independent Advocates of any formal or informal meetings where decisions about changes in the patient’s circumstances are being discussed and arrange meetings accordingly.
Independent advocacy agencies and other organisations, if required, will provide independent advocacy.
5. RISK MANAGEMENT
The provision of clear guidance for staff reduces the risk of inadequate independent advocacy information being communicated to service users.
- NHS staff must alert their immediate line managers if they believe patients, themselves, other members of staff or independent advocate may be at risk in the use of independent advocacy services.
- By clearly outlining responsibilities in the policy, NHS Fife is promoting local ownership.
- Independent advocacy information will be included in the Patient Relations Risk Register to ensure regular review of risk level and appropriate action.
6. RELATED DOCUMENTS
- Appendix A- Patient/Service User Rights to Independent Advocacy
- Appendix B- Staff Guidance- Independent Advocacy for Service Users
- Appendix C – Staff Guidance Independent Advocacy – Flowchart for Staff
- Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (as amended)
- Scottish Executive (2005), The New Mental Health Act: A Guide to Advocacy, Information for Service Users and their Carers, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive
- Patient Rights (Scotland) Act (2011)
For more help and support guides on Advocacy go to: https://fifeadvocacyforum.org.uk/
- Fife Advocacy Strategy 2018-2021
- NHS Healthcare Quality Strategy 2010
- Advocacy 2000, (2002), Principles and Standards in Independent Advocacy Organisations and Groups
- Fife Advocacy (2007), Fife Advocacy Code of Practice
- Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) (2008), Code of Practice for Independent Advocacy
- Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) (2008), Principles and Standards for Independent Advocacy
- Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) (2010), Guide for Commissioners
- Scottish Government and COSLA Guidance – Procurement of Support and Care Services (2010)
- Patients Charter of Rights and Responsibilities (2012)
- Scottish Government draft document, Independent Advocacy – Guide for Commissioners (2013)
- NHS Scotland PIN Guidelines
- NHS Fife Good Practice Guidelines for Staff working with Independent Advocates
- Mental Health Commission for Scotland ( A review of how local authorities and NHS Boards are discharging their responsibilities under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (March 2018)
- Mental Health Commission for Scotland –Appendix 1 Responses to the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, Advocacy Duty, adults (March 2018)
- Mental Health Commission for Scotland –Appendix 2 Responses to the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, Advocacy Duty, Children and Young People (March 2018)
Appendix A – Patient/ Service User Rights to Independent Advocacy
Appendix B – Staff Guidance- Independent Advocacy for Service Users
Appendix C- Staff Guidance Independent Advocacy – Flowchart for Staff