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Polly’s Story: The Impact of Advocacy

If a person does not have family or friends appropriate to consult and lacks the capacity, an advocate can help. Our advocates work to ensure that people are fully represented in the decision-making processes that impact their lives. Our Independent Mental Capacity Advocates support people who have been assessed as lacking in capacity to make a specific decision.

Below is a case study of Polly, (not her real name) and how we helped.

Polly’s Story

Polly is an elderly lady who suffers from dementia and after living independently in her own home all her life, she was admitted to the hospital after becoming ill. She was subsequently discharged to a care home for what she thought was a temporary period of respite. Polly thought that once the local authority had arranged support for her, she would be able to return home.

However, it was decided that Polly should remain in the care home on a permanent basis which cause Poly to be very unhappy as she longed to return home. On one occasion, Polly tried to leave the care home to go for a walk which resulted in her being placed under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) and she was not allowed to leave the care home of her own accord.

This made her very upset, and she could not understand why she was not being allowed to make decisions about her own care and residency.

Support from an advocate

A Mental Capacity Advocate was instructed to support Polly and when the advocate made an initial visit to Polly at the care home, they found she was highly distressed and wanted to go home.

As the advocate explored Polly’s wishes and feelings, it was apparent that she had the capacity in relation to her care and residence, she was a victim of unlawful deprivation and being held against her will.

The advocate gathered all the relevant information from professionals involved in Polly’s care and they all believed that Polly had the capacity to make decisions about her care and residency.

The impact

The advocate contacted a legal firm and instructed them to make an application to the Court of Protection, on Polly’s behalf, to challenge the deprivation of liberty safeguards so that a Judge could hear her care and residency. This case was heard by a Judge at the Court of Protection and, with effective collaboration between professionals involved with Polly’s care, she was able to return home.

Polly now receives two hours of care, daily, within her own home and is thriving. Polly stated she will never be able to thank the advocate enough for helping her get her independence back.

Want to know more?

Download our Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Good to Know Guide and FAQs for further reading.