"Leeds Advocacy"

About: Leeds

(as the patient),

What's the point of this service if they turn away people with learning disability?

I phoned them to get an advocate to help me sort out the problems I'm having at college. They just referred me to Advocacy for Mental Health and Dementia.

I don't know why they say they do advocacy for people with learning disabilities if they will not work with me.

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Response from Tim Hunt, Integration development manager, Patient Opinion

picture of Tim Hunt

Hi noavenues

I’m responding on behalf of Leeds Advocacy as we have been checking our records to try to identify this particular incident and see why it may have happened. We take such concerns very seriously indeed.

We share a phone number with other partner organisations here in Leeds – Advocacy for Mental Health and Dementia (A4MHD) and another called simply ‘Advonet’.

When someone calls, we use a ‘triage’ system to identify their most immediate concerns and then direct them to those who can best respond. Advocates are assigned according to what we are told by the caller. If someone has both a learning disability and a mental health issue, then the information callers give us guides our response.

Those who answer the phones and go through this process are trained to ask callers whether they are happy with the information they are given.

We are concerned that this caller feels s/he has not had an adequate response – and we would like to hear from this person as s/he doesn’t seem to have come back to us directly with this concern.

The services provided by Leeds Advocacy and Advonet are relatively specific – and described on our websites - www.leedsadvocacy.org.uk and www.advonet.org.uk

Although together we provide services for people with learning disabilities, dementia or mental health concerns we do not make assumptions about people who call us. We try to assess each caller’s immediate priorities. We are proud of how we respect each other and how diverse we all are.

If someone was referred to Advocacy for Mental Health and Dementia, this would probably be because we got impression that their greater concern was more directly and immediately related their mental health as stated by the caller than a (underlying) learning disability.

Clearly everyone at Leeds Advocacy is anxious that everyone who approaches us for help gets the appropriate services – and understands why we cannot do everything ourselves. A4MHD and Advonet are dedicated to sensitive, high-quality services too.

We would also like to point out Leeds Advocacy is not authorised by the Care Quality Commission – as we are outside the CQC remit and at present are not part of the current scope of the Care Opinion website.

However, if “noavenues” cares to contact us – in confidence – at office@leedsadvocacy.org.uk, we’d like to try to find out exactly what was said during that first phone call and sort out any confusion.


PS As this service is not at present listed as a service on the Care Opinion Site, I am putting on this response on behalf of Leeds Advocacy.

Best wishes


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Update posted by noavenues (the patient)

I did go back to Leeds Advocacy directly with this concern. they told me they would phone me back but didn't so I had to phone them back the next day.