Debbie's Story

Right to appropriate services


Debbie is a young woman with autism who had been living at home with her parents. Debbie’s mental health began to deteriorate, and she withdrew from all her regular activities and relationships. The changes in her routine and the uncertainty of what would be happening was really difficult for Debbie to process and manage.

It was recognised early on that access to an inpatient facility would not be appropriate or helpful and both family and professionals were committed to working together to prevent this.

Despite changes in the support offered to Debbie, family were finding it increasingly difficult to support Debbie at home and the plan was to explore alternative accommodation.

Advocacy need

A referral to advocacy was made under the Care Act to ensure Debbie’s views and wishes were heard as part of the assessment process and her rights upheld.

Debbie had accessed advocacy before so to ensure consistency we allocated the advocate who had worked with her previously. They had a well-established, trusting advocacy relationship, based on several years’ experience of working together.

How we helped

Debbie’s deteriorating mental health meant her capacity to make decisions regarding accommodation and care and support was fluctuating. The advocate ensured Debbie’s capacity was revisited throughout the advocacy process to ensure her rights were both upheld and protected whilst decisions were being made and that we were acting under the relevant legislative framework.

Debbie was having to meet and work with lots of different professionals which she said was difficult and frustrating as she wasn’t always sure why they were involved. The advocate spent time with Debbie explaining who was involved, their role and how they could help her. The advocate also spent time with Debbie looking at what was important to her.

When talking about moving the advocate explored all the options with Debbie, and where possible arranged for her to visit. Debbie had very clear ideas about what would work for her and the sort of place she wanted to live in.

The advocate ensured Debbie’s views and wishes were represented and her rights upheld within the Best Interest process.