Advocacy

Bilingual Advocacy is about giving a voice and supporting patients whose first language is not English.

Helping health professionals to see patients in their linguistic, cultural and religious context, so patient's wishes and anxieties are better understood.

Ensuring Health Care Trusts fulfil their duties regarding patient's rights.

Guidelines for Service Users

It will health professionals to understand and communicate with patients from Black & Ethnic Minority Communities with little or no English or with cultural needs, and who use or are in need of mental health and social care services.

  • We tell you about the cultural and religious background of your patient's community.
  • We help you to discuss their care
  • we accompany your patient to his/her appointments. with them.
  • we contact people from other agencies relevant to your patient's care and well-being.

Who You Can Refer To Us

  1. are in need or are using mental health/social care services
  2. live in Barking and Dagenham, or outside the Borough
  3. are under the local Health Authority or Council's responsibility.

Booking An Advocate

You can call us to book a Bilingual Mental Health Advocate or to refer a patient for issues other than clinical health.

This Service is funded by the B&D PCT and is FREE of charge to B&D CMHTs.

Please be flexible to work around the advocates' diary.

Booking in advance helps us to provide a better and more efficient service

Guidelines for Health Advocates

Code of Practice

Confidentiality

We treat every case in strict confidentiality and only disclose information to agencies at user request and permission. In exceptional circumstances, where there is serious risk of harm to the service user or others, we will tell the service user who else must be informed and why.

Complaints

We inform, support and guide users through the existent statutory and independent complaints procedures against health service providers. We guide them through our informal and formal complaint procedures also, should they wish to make a complaint against our service.

The support given

The service will support non-English speaking users within the level of involvement desired by them whilst using ours and mental health and social care services. Our Mental Health Advocates do not advise but rather inform users regarding issues they are concerned and seeking help/support, and at their request will liaise with other agencies and refer them accordingly. We do not exert influence on users choices nor do we make decisions or choices on their behalf. We will discuss the options available with them and will provide full and balanced information, even if the process of engagement by the client is slow and uncertain. Our service does not cover counselling. Our advocates do not impose their personal views onto users or act as their mediators or agents. If users wish they can access their files kept by us. If they request we will help them to access their files kept by the health service provider and will not disclose any information whatsoever to others without their request and consent. To prevent expectations other than the professional level of involvement with users, we do not accept or give any gifts or money.

Referrals

When Mental Health Advocates are unable to give users the appropriate assistance they will discuss the alternatives with them and refer to other agencies considered appropriate.

Dignity and Respect

Advocates will treat all service users with dignity and respect at all times.

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