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Advocacy Service

Supporting Deaf people to get fair and transparent treatment and services

Referral Form

We work to make sure Deaf people are treated fairly and get the care, procedures or benefits we are entitled to. In BSL, our advocates help to explain complicated situations, Deaf people’s rights, and make sure Deaf people’s views are properly heard. 

We are qualified in the following areas:

  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) ∙ this service is for those detained under the Mental Health Act 1984 (amended 2007). There are seven specialist Deaf units within Mental Health Hospitals across England. 
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) ∙ according to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 if a person is deemed to lack capacity then an IMCA is instructed by the decision-maker to ascertain the wishes and feelings of the person by communicating with family, friends and carers.
  • Generic ∙ advocacy provided to a person who may be in prison, involved in an employment disciplinary, housing issues, benefits tribunal, amongst other issues. Our advocates give clients a voice so they can be heard in any meeting.
  • Care Act Advocacy ∙ advocacy for care assessments, meetings or safeguarding enquiries.
  • Children and young people ∙ advocacy for adolescents and children in Mental Health Hospitals. This is in line with the Children’s Act guidelines.

Our services have been contracted throughout the UK.

We do not offer a community drop-in service. 

How to refer

Download and complete our advocacy form and return it by email. 


Why does SignHealth provide an advocacy service?

In difficult situations there are often barriers that make it difficult to get the information and support we need to make our case. Our advocates enable Deaf people to defend their rights and have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.

We are working towards a future without barriers to good health and wellbeing for all Deaf people.

How healthy are Deaf people?

Sick Of It is SignHealth’s ground-breaking report uncovering the health disparity Deaf people face in the UK. Published in 2014, the report has influenced policy and changed practices in the NHS to improve communication and reduce barriers.

Report: Sick Of It