Professional Independent Advocacy

Our PIA service is our "spot purchase" advocacy service. For a fixed fee we are able to provide a number of our advocacy services to areas outside our remit.  

Mental Health Matters Wales is a specialised Advocacy service provider including out of area referrals by Local Authorities for Mental Health Advocacy, Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014 - Independent Professional Advocacy (IPA), Independent Mental Capacity Act advocacy (IMCA), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), Paid Relevant Persons Representative (PRPR), Litigation Friend and Nearest Relative (under Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 and generalised Advocacy supporting members of the community throughout Wales.

Many individuals may be able to access statutory advocacy services, for example: IMCA when an individual lacks capacity and has no friends or family to advocate or support them or the IPA advocacy where a person may need support when dealing with Social Services. However; there are many occasions where individual’s do not meet the requirements for statutory advocacy services but would benefit greatly from the support of an advocate.

Where an individual may benefit from the support of our advocacy service we can provide advocacy under a Spot-Purchase Contract. A Spot-Purchase Contract is defined as a one off contract which allows an individual, their representative or a statutory service provider (local authority, health board) to commission our advocacy service directly or for an individual client.

We can support an individual to:

  • Identify what they want from services
  • Understand their rights and entitlements
  • Have their voice heard by services
  • Gain Control regarding difficult decisions about themselves

Advocacy can be on an instructed basis with an individual who can make an informed decision about what they want, or on a non-instructed basis with an individual who does not have the capacity to make an informed decision and where someone else is a decision maker on their behalf.

Some further benefits of providing advocacy via Spot-Purchase are:

  • Can be purchased as and when needed
  • May prevent waiting lists
  • May be able to bridge a gap in provision of Health or Social Services in the community.

What is Professional Independent Advocacy?

Paid independent advocates support and enable people to speak up and represent their views, usually during times of major change or crisis. Such advocacy is issue-based and the advocate may only need to work with the person for a short time.

This type of advocacy can be:

  • Supporting people who are marginalised in our society.
  • Advocating on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves.
  • Standing up for and sticking by a person or group and taking their side.
  • Listening to someone when expressing their point of view.
  • Helping people to feel valued.
  • Understanding people’s situations and what may be stopping them from getting what they want or need.
  • Offering the person support to tell other people what they want or need, or introducing them to others who may be able to help.
  • Helping people to know and understand what choices they have and what the consequences of these choices might be.
  • Enabling a person to have control over their life but taking up issues on their behalf if they want you to.
  • A process of working towards natural justice

This type of advocacy is not:

  • Providing general advice.
  • Making decisions for someone.
  • Help filling in forms.
  • Mediation.
  • Counselling.
  • Befriending.
  • Care and support work.
  • Consultation.
  • Telling or advising someone what you think they should do.
  • Solving all someone’s problems for them.
  • Speaking for people when they are able to do it for themselves.
  • Agreeing with everything a person says and doing anything a person asks you to do.

Professional Independent Advocacy safeguards people; who are vulnerable and discriminated against; or whom services find difficult to serve. It enables people who need a stronger voice by helping them to express their own needs and make their own decisions.

For more information

Please contact our advocacy department on

                                        0300 10 249 70



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