Solace Centre User Involvement Group                           24th May 2018

Guest Attendee was Stephanie Linden, Service Manager at POhWER

 

POhWER stands for People of Hertfordshire Want Equal Rights, POhWER was set up in 1996 by service users in Hertfordshire who wanted to make their own decisions about their lives.

POhWER is an Advocacy, Information and Advice charity, it is funded through Ealing Council. POhWER is focused on working with service users, they take on volunteers who want to gain experience in advocacy. POhWER work alongside Healthwatch, CQC and MP’s to promote the rights of service users.

Advocates at POhWER are knowledgeable in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007) and Care Act 2014.

POhWER have a helpline that runs from 9-5pm, if you call out of hours you are able to leave a voicemail and will be contacted by a an advocate as soon as possible.

POhWER advocates are able to write letters and support you to get explanations as to why an aspect of your care may have gone wrong

POhWER in London has a team of 14 advocates that work across 22 boroughs, these include:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Barnet
  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Greenwich
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Hillingdon
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Kingston Upon Thames
  • Lambeth
  • Merton
  • Redbridge
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster

 

POhWER does not cover the borough of Hounslow for advocacy, Voiceability covers advocacy in Hounslow due to different funding streams. They are contactable on 0300 330 5471 – hounslowadvocacy@voiceability.org

POhWER advocates are outcome driven, the way in which they operate is having 1 or 2 positive outcomes for each case to maintain consistency and have clear aims.

POhWER advocates can support clients with complaints from West London Mental Health Trust, Chelsea and Westminster, NHS GP’s, Pharmacists and London Ambulance Service. Any complaints about healthcare services to go straight to POhWER.

POhWER advocated have a background in Health and Social Care, they will be trained on the Human Rights Act 1998, Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007), Mental Capacity Act 2005 and receive NHS Complaints training, this involved training on how to write a complaints letter

POhWER work to create opportunities for service users and receive feedback from clients. So far feedback from service users has indicated more (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) CBT and Talking Therapies should be available.

POhWER advocates ensure cases are kept at the forefront of their work as cases can go on for quite some time. Stephanie Linden reported “There is no time limit to complete cases, some can take a day others a year.”

Whether unhappy with the care you have received or wanting to make a complaint about services you should contact POhWER as early as possible.

 

Thank you,

If you would like any more information please contact Rasmeet Kundan (07702562908) rasmeet.kundan@hfmind.org.uk