This year, KCSC is celebrating its 60th anniversary of supporting the local voluntary and community sector in Kensington and Chelsea.
We are planning to celebrate this during the year and we also want to use this opportunity to highlight some of the great work that local organisations are doing in the borough.
As part of this, we are launching a new feature on our website - every month we will spotlight a local organisation and highlight the great work it's doing through a short 'article' and some photos.
Our first Spotlight is on POhWER Advocacy
- Can you describe what you do?
POhWER’s Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service can support you need to make an NHS complaint by giving you the information you need and with one-to-one support help you to write a complaint letter or attend a meeting. We will help you to focus on what the issues are and what outcomes you hope to achieve. We have interpreters and provide information in different languages. POhWER is an Independent Charity supporting vulnerable people with their rights and has existed for 25 years.
- Can you give an example of a current project you are running?
NHS Complaints Advocacy in Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. We also provide Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA), including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Relevant Person’s Paid Representative (RPPR) services for people deprived of their liberty. We provide Community Advocacy including advocacy under the Care Act for adults with Physical and/or Sensory Disabilities and anyone aged 50+.
- Tell us of an achievement or one of the things you are most proud of that has had a big impact?
In 2018/2019, 2,565 people were supported through advocacy: 100% of people were contacted by an advocate within five working days of referral, 70% of cases were resolved within 6 months
- KCSC provides a lot of support and advice to organisations locally but do you have any 'lessons learned' you would like to share with other organisations?
When making a complaint think about what action and outcomes you want to put things right, whether that’s an apology or a change in practice. It is recommended that all complaints are made as soon as possible within 12 months.
- A case study from POhWER Advocacy:
John achieved reimbursement following advocacy support to make a complaint. He was out of pocket from paying for a carer for longer than necessary, due to a cancelled appointment with the hospital caused by late patient transport. He called POhWER because he has difficulty writing due to a learning disability and so cannot write a complaint letter. The advocate wrote the letter for him and helped him to challenge the response. The letter clearly set out his expectation that he required money reimbursed for his carer which he pays for from his personal budget. Eventually after negotiation John accepted reimbursement for the money he lost, and the hospital apologised and assured him improvements would be made and another appointment scheduled. John said the complaint was worthwhile and he could not have done it without the advocate.
- What users said about POhWER Advocacy:
"We wanted to say, once again, a huge massive thank to you. This has been an absolutely terrible time for us as a family, but the support from you has always made us feel encouraged and uplifted. We truly do appreciate you and all that you have done for us."
"Quite honestly if it had not been for your continued support with this I would have probably been overwhelmed and given up, and thereby denied myself the justice due."
"I would like to give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you for all the help you have given me in dealing with the trust - without which I would have been at a total loss"
If you are interested in being 'spotlighted', please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as we can with more information.