What can I expect from my advocate?
Advocates are independent and non-judgemental, they will listen to your concerns and will give you information about your rights and choices. They can support you in speaking up for yourself, or can speak on your behalf. The advocate will always talk to you before taking any action, this means you can decide what happens. The advocate can support you to get information from other services and can accompany you to attend meetings if you wish. You can expect your advocate to be reliable and to do what you agree they will do.
What information do I have to give?
At Your first meeting with the advocate, they will take some basic contact details from you such as your full name, address and contact telephone number. The advocate may need to ask for other information, but this will depend on the query you have. The advocate may also ask for names and telephone numbers of any other relevant contacts you have that may be helpful to us in dealing with your concerns. It is important to remember that you do not have to give us any information you do not want to, although this may affect the work we are able to do. The advocate will also ask you to sign a letter to say that you have asked the advocate to act on your behalf, this does not mean that the advocate can act without your permission, the advocate will not do anything without asking you first.
What happens to my information?
Any information you do give us will be kept securely in a locked filing cabinet in our office base. We will not keep any of your personal details on our computers. CADMHAS keeps all of its records in line with guidance given to us under the Data Protection Act (1998). When we have completed our work with you we will ask you what you would like us to do with the information we have gathered. We can either give you all of the information for you to keep, or you could chose to ask us to destroy all of the information we have relating to you, or CADMHAS can keep your records for a period of one year only, after which all records relating to you will be destroyed.
What can I do if I am unhappy with my advocate?
Wherever possible the CADMHAS service manager will try to support you to resolve any difficulties you may have with your advocate, where the service manager is the advocate, the chair of the management committee will offer you support to resolve the problem. If this is not possible CADMHAS may offer you a different advocate, if there is another suitable advocate available. In circumstances where you may wish to make a formal complaint the following procedure will apply:
- Outline the complaint, preferably in writing to the CADMHAS service manager. Where the complaint relates to the service manager write to the Chair of the CADMHAS management committee
- The Service Manager or Chair as appropriate, will meet both parties separately, and if possible will attempt to resolve the problem
Should this fail, or the complaint be of a very serious nature, the Service Manager or Chair, as is appropriate, will initiate the formal complaints procedure.
The full complaints procedure is available on request.
CADMHAS is equally happy to be told if you are very pleased with our service, any comments, suggestions or compliments will be welcomed.