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We provide a range of independent advocacy services for people experiencing mental distress including dementia. We work with people living in any area or setting within Leeds, including their own home, residential or nursing care, hostel or hospital. They can support people to speak up for themselves about any issue that is important to them. When the person does not have the capacity to instruct their advocate (e.g. some people with dementia), we can still help to include the person’s views and wishes in decisions about their lives through non-instructed advocacy. Advonet also provide the Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service under the Mental Health Act. Advonet was formerly a consortium made up of Advocacy for Mental Health & Dementia, Advocacy Support and Leeds Advocacy. In 2014 the Boards of these organisations decided to merge and become a single organisation from April 2015.

29 June 2015
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Alliances:
Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Advonet will promote giving people with dementia more power and control by offering advocates to be on their side whether they are at home, in a care home or in hospital. We will work harder at getting to people soon after diagnosis who don't have anyone on their side to support them to plan to meet the challenges ahead and to help them make sure their voice is heard and their choices respected. We will use instructed and non-instructed techniques to make sure that people's preferences are acknowledged and respected. We will work thoughtfully with other clients so that the service we provide is tailored to each individual's needs. We will participate in the Leeds Dementia Board and at other fora, as well as doing promotional work to help people understand the needs of people with dementia. We will help people with dementia and to understand their options and the support available to help them live the life they want. We recognise that we have vital responsibility to be well informed about rights, entitlements, opportunities etc. so that the people with dementia whom we support can be informed and others such as partner agencies, social workers etc. can learn from us. We will work to help people be understood in their environment and make sure that those who work in the care homes, hospitals, GP surgeries etc. which we visit in our work learn from our experience (and we learn from theirs.) We will make sure that the people with whom we work are respected by us at all times and treated with dignity in every way. We will challenge/ support people with dementia and their carers any instances of disrespect. We seek feedback from people with dementia and their carers and other partners to check that people we are supporting can say: I am respected as an individual I get the care and support which enables me to live well with my dementia Those around me and looking after me are well supported and understand how to maximise my independence I am treated with dignity and respect I know what I can do to help myself and who else can help me I can enjoy life I feel part of a community and I am inspired to participate in community life I am confident that my end-of-life wishes will be respected. I can expect a good death

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We are taking all of our staff and volunteers through training from our dementia champion- this is helping us fill gaps in some of our staff's awareness- this will be complete by March 2015 We are shortly to merge with three other other organisation and we intend to take the training programme into the new organisation and for the new organisation, Advonet to join the alliance We are reviewing our involvement practise to make sure that people with dementia have the best possible opportunities to inform the development of our service and its practice We will use staff supervision to ensure we focus on quality of life for people with dementia, as well as quality of care. We will engage and involve the wider community to improve their support for people with dementia, including GPs and healthcare professionals We will play our part in supporting the wider community, sharing the knowledge and skills of our staff, and inviting people into our care settings We will continue to work with commissioners of care for people with dementia, the Leeds Dementia Board, our partners in the voluntary and statutory and private sectors to ensure quality care services is available.

2. Actions

  • Training All Staff and Volunteers

    Serena Ayub has trained as a Dementia Champion and she has taken half the team through the Dementia Friend training. By December: we will take all staff through the Dementia Friendly session.

    By March 2016: on the back of the training, we will have completed at least one change in each team/ service ; these will be identified in the dementia friendly training

    Being implemented
  • Review advocacy services for people living with dementia

    By December: we will complete the practice review of the work of Dementia Advocacy team so with limited resources that we can offer more advocacy to more people - dementia advocacy can sometimes be very time consuming a) you need to get to know people well b) sometimes people can't identify the challenges they face easily and so multiple issues emerge over time. The team will determine the best structure for balancing equality of access with being person centred.

    Being implemented