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How our Manchester team has been supporting people across the city with health and care decisions

12 February 2024

Our Manchester advocates have been providing a wide range of advocacy services across the city since the launch of the contract with Manchester City Council in October 2023.

The team supports Manchester people to be heard in decisions about their health, care and wellbeing. This includes providing independent support for people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act, for people deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital, and for decisions about care and support. 

People in Manchester can also get support with making a complaint about their NHS treatment or care, and if they lack capacity to instruct a solicitor in court proceedings. 

A Manchester Advocacy Hub has been set up in Ardwick, where advocates are based, and already has services in nearby Tameside, Bolton and Oldham. 

Advocates and team leaders from VoiceAbility’s Manchester team at the Manchester Advocacy Hub in Ardwick last week

Louise is among those to have already benefited from support, with a referral made to her independent advocate Ian to ensure her voice was heard in a review of her care. 

Advocate Ian visited Louise at her home in supported housing, where she lives with two other women and enjoys doing jigsaws, watching Disney movies and talking about birds and the weather. 

Louise has a severe learning disability, which means she uses one or two-word sentences to say what she wants. 

Ian listened to Louise and learnt that a lot of her outdoor activities had stopped during the Covid pandemic, and that Louise had not been spending the money that she had inherited. 

Louise said she needed to buy a swimsuit so she could be taken swimming, so this was arranged. 

Her advocate Ian also knew that once she had been to Disneyland Paris with her aunt and that she enjoyed it. Louise smiled whenever Disney or Disneyland was mentioned. 

Ian asked Louise if she would like to spend some of her money on a holiday to Disneyland, which everyone agreed was a good idea. 

It was agreed that Louise’s support workers would take her on holiday in the UK first so Louise could enjoy a day out and get used to longer journeys again — with plans to go to Disneyland Paris if all goes well. 

Amanda Mills, VoiceAbility’s operations manager for the North West, said: VoiceAbility is passionate about supporting people to be heard when it matters most. .

We’re delighted to be working with Manchester City Council and the support networks across the area so we can reach as many people who need our services as possible.

Councillor Thomas Robinson, Executive Member for Healthy Manchester and Social Care at Manchester City Council, added: 

It is really important that everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard. 

By partnering with VoiceAbility, we want to make sure that every adult who needs help has the opportunity to communicate their wishes on health, care and wellbeing through a trusted independent advocate.”