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Rethink Advocacy Service

The service is free and independent from all other services

In Wandsworth they provide:

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA): The IMCAs roles is to empower people to express their personal needs and support and represent them in the decision-making process. An IMCA can support people who lack capacity to make specific decisions in relation to change of accommodation health and care needs and safeguarding, to ensure the person’s rights are upheld and that any decision made is in their best interests. You cannot refer yourself to this service, only Council staff and local NHS bodies are authorised to make IMCA referrals.

Person’s Representative Advocacy (RPR): A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) is designed to protect people who are being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home. People in this situation have access to a Relevant Person’s Representative to uphold their best interests. Only referrals from DoLS teams in Wandsworth and Richmond are accepted.

Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA): You are entitled to an IMHA if you are detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act. The IMHA will help you understand your rights in relation to your treatment, care and any other issues relating to conditions within the hospital and access to services in the community where appropriate. We also provide specialist deaf advocacy on the National Deaf Wards at Springfield Hospital (see attached documents)

Community Mental Health Advocacy (non-statutory) Wandsworth only:
This service is for people over the age of 16 who are users of mental health services from South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust at Springfield and Queen Mary's Hospitals, or within other community settings, and do not meet the criteria for the IMHA services. Clients must be registered with a Wandsworth GP. This service is to support clients with aspects of their mental health treatment and care. Clients may self-refer, or referrals can come from any other organisation, social or NHS services with the consent of the client.

Care and Support Advocacy (Care Act): Under the Care Act (2014), local authorities must ensure that a person is fully involved when their social care and support needs are being reviewed. The service will be offered to resident and their carers where the care coordinator has assessed the person needs support to be involved in care and support processes and has no one else suitable to help them. (see attached leaflet) Only a colleague from social services can refer clients to this service.

NHS Complaints Advocacy: this service focusses on supporting and empowering people to navigate the NHS complaints system. We can offer support by providing you with a self-help information pack and we may also be able to provide direct advocacy support either on a one to one basis or in a self-help workshop. (see attached documents)

Generic (Community) Advocacy: this service offers advocacy support to people who need help with a health or social care issue and have no one else who can help them. Referrals can be made by any organisation with the consent of the client, including from the client themselves, as well as from the following organisations:

  • The Council’s Adult Social Care Department
  • Richmond and Wandsworth Carers hub
  • Local NHS Acute Trusts
  • Wandsworth Prison Healthcare Providers

Advocacy will be for the short term and for help with a specific issue. 

We also offer a range of peer and group advocacy opportunities as well as self-help toolkits and self-advocacy workshops to support people to help themselves. This programme of opportunities will change, so please contact us to find out what is going on in your area at the moment.

To make a referral please contact Rethink Advocacy Service directly.

Who to contact





Referral Details


Last updated: 21 Apr 2022