Advocacy Service

VoiceAbility Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have brought together advocacy services for adults, carers, children and young people into one single service. This service is called VoiceAbility.

Information about the different types of advocacy can be found here.

VoiceAbility is delivered by specialist advocacy providers VoiceAbility, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association and NYAS. Together, they provide statutory and community advocacy services.

Advocacy enquiries and referrals are co-ordinated through the VoiceAbility central team. This means that everyone who contacts the VoiceAbility partnership will only need to tell them about their advocacy needs once and they will do the work together to ensure the service user gets the right advocacy service to meet their needs.

Referrals, including self-referrals, for advocacy services can be made by contacting them by phone, or by email. The service has a dedicated referral helpline: 0300 222 5704.

Online referrals can be made here, and a referral form can also be downloaded here.

Children and young people, and professionals who want to speak directly to a NYAS advisor can call 0808 808 1001 or e-mail . Professional referrals can also be made at:

The Advocacy service is accessible for people who are deaf. People can contact Cambridgeshire Deaf Association via Glide, Facetime or Skype on 07902 281 668.

This three-tiered advocacy service provides:

  • A dedicated helpline for people who want information about advocacy services available, or to make a referral to the service. The helpline will provide individual assistance to make contact with other local support services available if needed.
  • New peer support and group advocacy, led by trained volunteers who have had similar experiences to help people make positive changes to their lives.
  • One-to-one advocacy for eligible people, delivered by professional experienced advocates. Eligibility criteria for advocacy services is provided overleaf, and further information about the Total Voice partnership is available on our website.

The advocacy services provided are:

Community Advocacy

Community advocacy supports people who, without independent advocacy, would have substantial difficulty getting information about local support services available, and accessing health and care services they need. Professional and self-referrals can be made. The service is available for:

  • People who are over 65
  • Carers of adults, including child and young carers, and parent carers
  • Adults, over 18 with physical disabilities, severe mental ill-health, learning disabilities, autism or sensory impairments.
  • People over 16 who are severely or profoundly deaf.

Care Act Advocacy

Referrals will require the local authority (LA), relevant health authority or LA delegated professional to determine that:

  • The person will have substantial difficulty in being involved in the relevant social care processes and;
  • There is no one appropriate (carer, friend or relative) available to support the person – someone who is unpaid, who the person chooses to support them.

IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate)

Referrals made to the service will require an ‘authorised person’ (as defined by the MCA 2005) to approve the IMCA instruction.

IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)

For people being detained under the Mental Health Act, patients who are on a conditional discharge, subject to guardianship or supervised community treatment order. Self-referrals can be made through the Advocacy Helpline or directly with advocates present on wards.

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy

Complaints advocacy is available to anybody, including children and young people, who wants independent assistance to pursue a complaint with the NHS. The service provides online self-help tools and one-to-one advocacy for people who need support to make their complaint or feel that they are not being heard.

Children and Young People’s Advocacy

In Cambridgeshire:

  • C&YP Looked After or In Need; and
  • unaccompanied children and young people seeking asylum
  • children and young people with SEND

In Peterborough:

  • C&YP Looked After; and
  • for Independent Return Interviews for Peterborough Children in Care

Easy-read leaflets are available here.

Information about and help to make NHS Complaints can be found here.

If you would like to discuss issues relating to the Advocacy Service provided to CPFT Service Users, please contact Orna Clark, Mental Health Law Manager, by e-mail or by phone: 01480 420159


As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust