How advocacy makes a difference

Find out how we've supported local people as we celebrate national Advocacy Awareness week.
Photo of two men smiling by Nathan Anderson/

Healthwatch Reading provides one-to-one advocacy to people in a service we call 'Reading Voice'. Certain people are entitled by law or local arrangements to get this free, independent and confidential support. 

To celebrate Advocacy Awareness Week (1-7 November 2021), we're sharing some of our stories.

Case studies

Mary*, who struggles to understand her diagnosed medical condition, felt unsettled and displayed challenging behaviour when she was admitted to hospital. A Reading Voice advocate - who is based in the hospital where Mary was admitted - spent time getting to know her and discussing her worries. The advocate supported Mary to keep a diary, accompanied her to a meeting with hospital staff and helped her to make a plan for the future.  Mary said she felt supported and was thankful to the advocate for giving her the opportunity to express herself.

Marek*, an adult with visual impairments, was unhappy with a council decision about the level of social care help he would get to help him live safely. A Reading Voice advocate helped him to make a formal complaint, which was partly upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman. The council apologised, waived some care changes and reminded staff to update care plans.

Mohammed* was referred to us by social workers concerned about his self-neglect and ability to live safely. Professionals had been unable to gain access to his home for two years. A Reading Voice advocate worked with Mohammed to gain his confidence and was let into his home. We supported him to make repairs, get hospital care and be discharged into a care home where he could live safely.

Melanie*, a woman with mental health needs and learning disabilities, was supported by a Reading Voice advocate during legal proceedings to remove a baby from her care. Following the court granting an interim care order to the local authority, police were called to the maternity unit. Our advocate stayed with Melissa for more than three hours during this process, supporting her to eventually hand her child over.

Mark*, an adult with motor neurone disease who uses a wheelchair, was concerned that the local NHS clinical commissioning group had turned down support for carers during a holiday under his NHS Continuing Healthcare package. He was originally told this was against policy but after a Reading Voice advocate got involved, the decision was changed.

*All names have been changed.



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