The Lothian Voices collective advocacy group responded to two Scottish Government Consultations in March. One consultation was about the “delivery of psychological therapies and interventions”. The other was about “quality standards for adult secondary mental health services”.
A member of the Lothian Voices group spotted the consultations and brought them to a collective advocacy meeting. The group decided they would like to submit a collective response to some sections of the consultations. The group also invited people from other CAPS’ collective advocacy groups to these meetings so they could have their say too.
One of the key responses to both of the consultations was that although what was suggested in the consultations sounds good, whether it would improve things would be dependent on implementation. The members of the group were often sceptical that this would be done well.
The quality standards questions mentioned advocacy, but the advocacy was not explicitly independent. In the response Lothian Voices explained that it was important for advocacy to be independent. This is so that the advocacy organisation doesn’t follow anyone else’s agenda and only represents the views of the advocacy partner/s.
Some quotes from the consultation responses
“[The proposed quality standards] are good, it is just seeing them working in action. It would be interesting to have a conversation in a year or two and see where we are with things. Theoretically if they adhere to the standards then people should end up going in the right direct of travel with their own mental health journey. I have my fingers crossed.”
“Advocacy needs to be independent!”
“It should [improve outcomes] if you can access [psychological therapies] earlier, and being able to get copies of letters and things would also be helpful.”
“There is nothing about ensuring people from certain minority or underprivileged groups being able to see someone who will have knowledge and an understanding of, for example, how the person’s ethnicity or gender identity affects their lives on top of everything else.”