Cheshire East Council & Cheshire West and Chester Council

Advocacy Engagement Questionnaire for Professionals

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council are conducting a series of engagements with residents, providers, and professionals in respect of the Independent Statutory Advocacy Service. Currently the service is delivered jointly by Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West Council and is delivered across these geographical areas by Age UK Cheshire, supported by Disability Positive, and includes the following advocacy components:
  • Care Act Advocate
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
  • Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
  • Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR)
  • Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Advocate
  • Noting that provision will need to adapt for future Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) legislation
Recommissioning timeline
The current statutory advocacy service will be recommissioned during 2022, and a new service will be in place as at 1st September 2022.
Brief overview of statutory advocacy components
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) – Any age
Access to an IMHA is a statutory right for individuals detained under most sections of the Mental Health Act. An IMHA helps an individual to understand their rights under the Act and to participate in decisions about their care.
  • Independent Mental Capacity (IMCA) and Paid Representatives – 16 years+
IMCA’s are a legal safeguard for individuals who lack the capacity to make certain decisions for themselves and do not have a suitable person who is able to speak for them. An IMCA does not make any decisions and are independent of the people who do make decisions.
  • Independent Advocacy (Care Act) – 18 years+
Under the Care Act, an Advocate must be appointed to support individuals who have substantial difficulty in being involved in the statutory assessment process and there is no appropriate individual to support them.
  • Relevant Persons Representative (RPR)
The Mental Capacity Act requires the Council (decision maker) to appoint a paid officer to represent the person who is being deprived of their liberty, in circumstances where there is not available person to undertake this role.
  • Continuing HealthCare (CHC)
An advocate will independently represent the individual and their families wishes, preferences and views around Continuing Healthcare.
This document contains a series of questions that we would like you to answer.  The purpose of the soft market testing is to capture your comments, which will help to inform the recommissioning of the Statutory Advocacy Service in Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester for those residents requiring statutory advocacy.  Your responses will be used by commissioners in commercial confidence. 

Once the engagement closes we will analyse all responses, then produce a summary report of the responses for people using the services and professionals.  This will help to inform the recommissioning of the statutory advocacy service.

Please note: you are not obliged to answer all or any of the questions asked within the questionnaire. This is an information gathering exercise to gain your views, experiences in respect of statutory advocacy provision. If you want to find out more on how Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council use your information, please see the privacy policy:
If you have any queries about the survey, or if you would like to receive this questionnaire in an alternative format or submit your response in a different way, please contact us at commissioning@cheshireeast.gov.uk or by telephone on - Sharon Brissett 01270 685967 (Cheshire East) or Catherine Cooil 07785 575196 (Cheshire West & Chester Council). 

Please submit your comments by 5pm on 26 November 2021.