If you do not feel able to speak for yourself, you can have someone to speak on your behalf; this is also known as 'advocacy'.
Advocacy means having someone who will:
- express your point of view
- be clear about your wishes and tell those who need to know
- advise you of your rights
- speak up if your rights are not central to what everyone working with you thinks
- make sure your best interests are at the centre of all conversations and decisions
People who undertake this role are called 'advocates'. An advocate helps a vulnerable person to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care.
Advocacy is an independent service and is not linked to the people who offer health and social care services. Advocates do not form their own view of what is best; they only take into account your wishes to make sure these are heard.
Find an advocate
Local organisations which offer an advocacy service can be found on Live Well York.
Deprivation of Liberty Standards (DoLS) and Mental Capacity
The Deprivation of Liberty Standards (DoLS) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007, and came into force on 1 April 2009.
This legislation provides a framework to ensure that deprivation of liberty happens, only under very specific conditions and only when it is in someone's best interests.
For example, some people living in care homes and hospitals may not be able to make their own decisions. They may sometimes lack the capacity to consent to treatment or care and may need, in their own best interests, to be deprived of their liberty.