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Advocacy Together - Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)

Statutory advocacy service for people detained or subject to restrictions under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2007.

Our IMHAs give information on, and help patients to understand, the legislation they are subject to and how this affects their lives. This may include the conditions or restrictions placed on them and their rights under the MHA 2007. IMHAs can also help the patient to understand what medical treatment is being given or proposed and give information on the authority under which the treatment would be given.

Who is eligible?

  • Patients who are liable to be detained under the MHA 2007
  • Patients subject to guardianship
  • Patients on Supervised Community Treatment Orders (SCT)
  • Informal patients who are discussing the possibility of treatment to which S57 or S58A applies (neurosurgery for mental disorder or ECT for a patient under 18 years).

How we can help

Our IMHAs will meet with the patient in private to discuss issues or concerns relating to their care and treatment. The IMHA will ensure they fully understand the issues and what information is required before agreeing with the patient the appropriate level of support needed. The IMHA will then act on instruction from the patient.

Part of this work may require the IMHA to meet with any person who is professionally involved with the patient’s treatment. The IMHA will also be able to (on instruction from the patient) inspect any records relating to the patient’s detention or treatment and any Social Services Authority records that relate to that individual.

If the patient lacks capacity, the IMHA can still request access to records, however, in this circumstance the person holding the records must consider whether it is appropriate and necessary for the IMHA to have access to the records.

Accessing the service

Referrals can come from anyone and we will always comply if the request is reasonable, however IMHAs have a duty to respond and visit the patient if the request comes from:

  • The patient
  • A responsible clinician
  • An approved Mental Health Professional
  • The nearest relative

Patients can choose not to meet the IMHA or turn down any support offered if they did not make the referral themselves.

Additional Information

Council Area
Liverpool
What areas of the city is this for?
People from anywhere in the city
What age groups is this for?
18+
What groups of people is this for?
People with mental health issues
How much will it cost me?
Free
When is this service open?
Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5pm
Who can refer me to this service?
Self, friends, family and professionals. Call for more information
How can I access this service?
By referral

Contact

Advocacy Together Merseycare NHS Trust IMHA Services
Clock View Hospital
2a Oakhouse Park
Liverpool
L9 1EP

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