In the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Disability Action provides an Advocacy Service specifically for people with learning disabilities. Our Advocates work with people with learning disabilities in the community and hospital settings. The service is:

  • confidential;

  • provided free of charge; and

  • independent, which means the advocate can work in partnership with people, with no conflict of interest.

Information on this service is also available in Easy Read.

Who can use the service?

To access the service you need to have a learning disability and live within the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area (or be under their care).  If you have a physical or sensory disability and live in this area we have an advocacy service that can support you. 

How can the Advocate help you?

  • The Advocate supports people with learning disabilities to understand their rights and encourages you to speak up if you are unhappy about how you have been treated.

  • The Advocate will listen to the you and identify the options available to you. Once you have made a decision on how you want to deal with the situation, the Advocate will support you to take action and say what you want.

  • The Advocate is also there to ensure that people with learning disabilities have choices about their lives; have access to the services you need and supports you to say how you want to live.

Non-instructed advocacy

The Advocate also provides non-instructed advocacy, when a person cannot give a clear indication of their views or wishes in a specific situation.  In these cases, the Advocate works to uphold the person’s rights, ensure fair and equal treatment and access to services and make certain that decisions are taken with due consideration for the person’s individual wills and preferences.  

Anyone involved in a persons care can make a request for an Advocate to become involved but the Advocate will always act only for the individual and not for the person making the request.

Making a referral

Anyone can make a referral to the service.  If you would like to contact an Advocate please telephone 028 9029 7880 and someone will take a message and pass it onto an Advocate.  You can also email [email protected]