Finding support in your community - Local Area Coordination
Posted on 14/06/2017
Finding support in your community
If you are vulnerable due to age, frailty, disability or mental health issues, you can supported to identify and pursue your vision for a good life. This is done through an innovative approach called Local Area Coordination. The aim is to strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people and to make services more personal, flexible and accountable.
It also helps to build more welcoming and inclusive communities through partnership and collaboration with individuals and families, local organisations and the broader community.
The overall aim is to support vulnerable people to live within welcoming and supportive communities.
Being detained in hospital or on being on a Community Treatment Order can be a confusing and distressing experience. An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) can help by supporting people to get their opinions heard and to make sure that they know their rights under the law. However, research reveals that people with mental health issues don’t always have access an IMHA. Many people with mental health problems are not getting the independent advice and support which is their statutory right. Service users that need IMHAs the most (for instance, older people, people with learning disabilities and people from BME groups) are the most likely to miss out on having access to one.
Twelve new resources were launched 11th March 2015, at an event at the House of Lords, by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Briefings, reports and films give an overview of the current situation regarding IMHAs and provide everything you need to know to improve access to, and to provide, high-quality IMHA services.
In 2012, UCLan published a review of IMHA services. Entitled ‘The Right to be heard’, the review found variations in the access to, and uptake of, IMHAs. It found that only half of those eligible for an IMHA in England actually had access to one. The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) 2015 annual report of the Mental Health Act found that 20% of people sectioned in hospital did not have their rights properly explained to them.