|ANNEX 1B - ADVOCACY IN THE SCOTTISH HEALTH SERVICE|
· protecting vulnerable people; and
· giving them a stronger voice to make their wishes and needs known.
2. Advocacy is not new. People do it every day for their children, for their elderly or disabled relatives, and for their friends. Concerned individuals do it for people who are particularly vulnerable or undervalued. In the NHS, advocacy has been mainly available for vulnerable groups, such as people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, and older people (including those with dementia). However, even people who are normally confident and articulate can feel less able to cope because of illness, anxiety, lack of knowledge and be intimidated by professional attitudes which may seem paternalistic and authoritarian.
3. Access to advocacy services is not universally available across Scotland. However, The Scottish Office Department of Health, together with the Scottish Health Advisory Service, published an advocacy good practice guide in September 19972 . This charges Health Boards with examining their current practices and developing advocacy so that it is available to all users of NHS services who need help, support and care.
2 The guide: 'Advocacy - A Guide to Good Practice' was printed by The Stationery Office (J14975 10/97).
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