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The Care Act and Advocacy: how is Statutory Duty actually being observed?

The Care Act and Advocacy… There is a whole chapter devoted to it in the Care Act Statutory Guidance –  just the 66 paragraphs!

” This chapter (7) provides guidance on: Sections 67 and 68 of the Care Act 2014 & the Care and Support (Independent Advocacy) Regulations 2014….

Even in 2015, legal expert Belinda Schwehr was asking “Advocacy – Is anyone actually getting any now it’s a statutory duty?” raising concerns and issues which are still relevant.

Just today I noticed on Twitter that Lucy Series (Small Places blogger) had asked the question (on 29th March) : “Anyone know where I can find statistics on Care Act advocacy referrals? Are they collected centrally by DH, and published anywhere?” 

Helpfully, someone replied to Lucy’s plea with a link to a really interesting page on the SCIE website entitled How Advocacy under the Care act is being implemented . 

This page deserves to be read in full. It seems to be the best available resource for data on how Care Act advocacy is being implemented. Unfortunately it is based on incomplete data since there seems to be no mandatory reporting obligation imposed on local authorities ( “This section looks at how advocacy is being implemented in England. It is based on the survey responses of 46 per cent of local authorities, a survey of advocacy providers and 23 follow-on interviews with commissioners and providers.”)

If you read the SCIE article in full (which I recommend you do), you may feel that the introductory statement “It was evident, that many (commissioners) had approached the introduction of the duty to provide advocacy under the Care Act cautiously” is a masterpiece of understatement; especially when it goes on to state that “It was evident from interviews with advocacy providers that some local authorities have not specifically commissioned advocacy under the Care Act and that the advocacy provider is being expected to provide increased advocacy services without additional resource”

It is safe to assume that we will hear more on the issue of advocacy. It seems clear that another(!) postcode lottery is evolving.

I am sure that Belinda Schwehr and Lucy Series will have more to say in due course, and I will continue to monitor their blogs and postings.

RESCARE

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