Getting someone to speak on my behalf

We are committed to supporting people and making sure their voices are heard and respected.

If you need somebody to help you to get your views and choices across, you could ask for an advocate. This is somebody who is independent and not connected to council services. 

We have commissioned two services to advocate on your behalf, to support you to raise a concern or complaint against a service provider and an advocate service that looks at concerns within the NHS.

Advocacy service for residents

Advocacy provides support for you, you can choose how they do this, but always remember they are there to support your choices. For example, they can:

  • listen to your views and concerns
  • help you explore your options and rights (without advising you in any certain direction)
  • give you information to help you make informed decisions
  • help you contact relevant people, or contact them on your behalf
  • accompany and support you in meetings or appointments

We work closely with people who use our service to try and make sure their voices are heard and respected. However, if you need somebody to help you to get your views and choices across, you could ask for an advocate. This is somebody who is independent and not connected to council services.

Advocacy enables people with a physical or learning disability, mental health needs, or older people to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care. Advocacy can also help you to access important information, like benefit entitlement.

If you have an advocate, they will act based on your wishes. They will not take their own view of what is best or try to influence you to make a different choice.

Sometimes people who are working with you might think you are not able to make certain important decisions. If you have no one in your family to represent your wishes you will be referred to the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service.

This is an independent advocate who is appointed to help express your wishes and make sure your rights are met. An IMCA can also provide a special type of advocacy which is called non-instructed. This means that if somebody is unable to express their own views, perhaps for health reasons, the IMCA can make sure that the right decisions are made on their behalf.


If you think you or someone in your family requires advocacy support or for more information, contact the Cambridge House.

020 7358 7007

For professionals who wish to make a referral you can download an advocacy referral form and return it using the above email or post it to Advocacy at Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London SE5 0HF.

The Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS)

Advocacy plays a vital role in improving health and wellbeing by empowering people to take control of their lives and helping them to make better informed decisions about issues affecting their health and well-being. At a practical level, the support of an advocate can also help improve the effectiveness of treatment and, in some cases, help early intervention or prevent the need for treatment and so ensuring the best use of resources.

Barking and Dagenham Council appreciate the importance of advocacy in supporting residents, particularly those with mental health, learning difficulties and physical disabilities. We have always maintained that empowering and supporting residents wanting to make a complaint due to the ineffective treatment or care they received from the NHS is a key responsibility.

The Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS) provides independent advocacy for residents who wish to make a complaint against any aspect of service received from the NHS and need advocacy support.   

Support is dependent on the needs of the individual and may range from receiving a self-help pack and information and options, to support from an advocate. 

This service is separate to the advocacy duties placed on the Local Authority through the Care Act 2014, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 2007.


Cambridge House.

020 7358 7007