New research: Voiceability – The impact of opt-out advocacy
Voiceability, a member of the Complex Needs Consortium in the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, have published a research project on ‘The impact of opt-out advocacy’.
Independent mental health advocacy is one important means by which people admitted to mental health in-patient services can have a greater voice. However, Voiceability know that many people who are entitled to support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) don’t receive it.
In an opt-out system, everyone is automatically referred to an advocate by the hospital or healthcare provider. The advocate then contacts each person to explain the service, and the person can then decide whether to proceed or not.
The report concludes that the benefits of opt-out are that it:
- Ensures that every individual who is eligible for support receives a visit from an advocate and an explanation of the service
- Significantly increases uptake of advocacy services and ensures referrals are not dependent on variables outside of the patient’s control
- Enables more people to have a greater voice in their care and treatment which leads to improved outcomes for them
- Supports people to advocate for themselves and be discharged sooner when they can be better supported in the community, reducing strain on in-demand inpatient mental health services