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MhIST gains new Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM)

Wed, 22/04/2020


Friday 17th April 2020

Bolton based mental health charity MhIST has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives. The QPM is awarded to fewer than 100 organisations nationally. The award has been made for the third consecutive time making MhIST one of very few organisations nationally to have achieved this.

To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers have to undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review. This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support.  As well it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act. The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.

Andrew Jones, Advocacy Team Leader from MhIST said:
“The awarding of the QPM is not just an honour but also positive recognition of the commitment and professionalism that each and every member of the Advocacy Team bring to their roles. It is wonderful that we have received this award and I am proud to be the leader of such a brilliant Team”

Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said:
“The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives.  It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”

Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met.  It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Further information can be accessed and applications can be made via www.qualityadvocacy.org.uk.

- Ends –

Notes to editors
• The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) is a not-for-profit social change organisation promoting inclusion and equality for people who risk exclusion and need support to lead a full life. It has a particular interest in issues around age, disability, mental health and children and young people. Further information is available online at www.ndti.org.uk.
• MhIST is a Bolton based Mental Health charity. We support people in Bolton who experience poor mental health. We are committed to creating a safe and non-judgmental space where people can receive a warm welcome, support to access the right service option for them at the right time.  We believe everyone has the right to be listened to, to be heard and to have a voice and that every individual is at the centre of decision making for themselves. MhIST – Mental Health Independent Support Team - offers a range of services for people with lived experience of poor mental health who live in the Bolton Area. We are an independent charity and deliver: Advocacy Services, Talking Therapies, Self-help Groups, advice and information and Employment Services.  Many of our services are also delivered remotely but due to hardware shortages and lack of funding we have been unable to expand this aspect of our work.

For further press information contact Andrew Jones – 01204 527200, via text on 07800 000 396 or via email at help@mhist.co.uk.