Independent Statutory Advocacy Service - privacy notice

What personal information is being processed and what for

The personal information we will use to decide if an Independent Statutory Advocacy Service referral is required includes:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • NHS number
  • Date of Birth
  • Home address, including postcode
  • GP contact details
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Any information we may need to take account of such as communication needs, religion, and past medical and mental health history
  • Information shared by any relevant professionals involved in your life such as G.P. care coordinator, social worker etc.

The Independent Statutory Advocacy Service provides a range of advocacy provision to Cheshire East Council residents. This range of advocacy provision includes:

  • Mental Health Act Advocacy (IMHA) – has been available to patients subject to certain aspects of the Mental Health Act 1983.  Patients eligible to use IMHA services are those:
    • Detained under the Mental Health Act (even if they are currently on leave of absence from hospital) apart from those patients detained under sections 4, 5(2), 5(4), 135 or 136
    • Conditionally discharged
    • Subject to Guardianship under the Act
    • On Supervised Community Treatment (SCT)
    • Other patients, who are informal, are eligible for IMHA services if they are being considered for section 57 or section 58A treatment (i.e. treatments requiring consent and a second opinion). This includes people under the age of 18 who are being considered for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards – available for people who have been assessed as lacking capacity and have no appropriate family or friends to support them.   A person who is considered not to have capacity to make important decisions concerning serious medical treatment, changes to accommodation, adult protection issues and some care reviews
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy – including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, an advocate will ensure, no one is deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home without good reason, and people are deprived of their liberty receive the care that they need, and support challenging the deprivation of liberty if a person objects to that deprivation
  • Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) – The Mental Capacity Act requires the Council (the decision maker) to appoint a paid offer to represent the individual being deprived of their liberty in circumstances where there is no available person to undertake this role.
  • Care Act Advocacy – The Care Act 2014 states that people should be involved in the assessment of their care needs, planning the support that they require
  • Continuing Healthcare Advocate – for individuals who need support and representation in challenging continuing healthcare funding issues

The Independent Statutory Advocacy Service will be impartial and support you to understand your rights and express your wishes and what you want to happen.

An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) can support you with:

  • Your legal rights under the Mental Health Act
  • the legal rights which other people (e.g. nearest relative) have in relation to you
  • the particular parts of the Mental Health Act which apply to you
  • any conditions or restrictions to which you are subject
  • any medical treatment that you are receiving or might be given, and the reasons for that treatment
  • the legal authority for providing that treatment
  • the safeguards and other requirements of the Act which would apply to that treatment.

IMHA will also help you to exercise your rights, which can include supporting you to self-advocate and/or representing you and speaking on your behalf.

An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) can support you when a decision has to be made where it is assessed you lack the capacity to make that decision and you have no family or friends who can assist you.  These decisions can be very important ones, such as going into a residential care home or smaller everyday decisions, such as what you do during the day.  IMCA’s can also help you during reviews of your care and support needs under the Care Act, including assessments and reviews for Continuing Health Care.

Why we are allowed to use your information

The local authority has a duty to provide a statutory advocacy service, which is covered by the following legislation:

  • Mental Health Act 1983
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Capacity Act (Amendment) 2019
  • Care Act 2014 (including supporting people during decision making in respect of Continuing Healthcare)

The relevant lawful basis under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being relied upon are:

  • Article 6(1)(c) – legal obligation
  • Article 6(1)(e) – official authority
  • Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest
  • Article 9(2)(h) – health or social care services
  • Schedule 1, Part 2, para 6 of the Data Protection Act 2018 provides for processing for statutory etc government purposes which falls under reasons of substantial public interest

Who we will share your information with

Your information will be shared with the independent statutory advocacy provider. This information will be shared via a referral to ensure that you are provided with statutory advocacy support.

Where we get your information from

Dependent upon your individual circumstances, information will be provided from several sources such as:

  • GP and primary care e.g. health care services
  • Secondary care e.g. hospital and community provision
  • Adult social care and children social care (if aged between 16 – 18 years)
  • Residential and Nursing Care Homes
  • Self referral / family or carer

How long we will keep your personal information

The Provider of the Statutory Advocacy service will have a retention policy that will detail how long the provider will keep (store) your record, the period of time the record will be kept, and how the record will be confidentially destroyed in an appropriate manner.

Your records held by the local authority will be kept in line with the Council’s retention guidelines which can be found in our Information Asset Register.

How your information is stored

The information will be kept on the Council’s adult social care electronic service user system. The system is only used by those members of staff who need it, and access is strictly controlled by three factor authentication, e.g. username, password and a third security question. All users are required to undertake data protection training before being given access.

Information will be shared with the independent statutory advocacy provider by secure means and the provider will be required to complete an ICT security questionnaire to the Council’s acceptable standards.

What happens if you don’t provide us with your information

If you have the capacity to decide on whether or not you want an independent advocate and you decide not to have one, then you will not receive the benefit of support from this service.

Where someone is lacking capacity to make a decision on whether or not to have an advocate, a best interest decision could be made that it is in your best interests for you to have an advocate under this service. This decision could be taken by a best interest assessor or someone else involved in your care, treatment and support.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions


Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it. You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong. 

For detailed information about your rights please see our privacy notice at

Page last reviewed: 09 August 2022