Cliff* lived in a care home where he has lived for the previous four and a half years. Cliff is 50 years old and has a diagnosis of Korsakoff's Dementia, although he is very high functioning, and has a good memory. Cliff is unable to understand and accept risk, and cannot foresee risky behaviour rending him open to harm.

Cliff was unable to access the community unsupervised and could only do so with the support of care staff. Cliff lived in a 24 hour supported environment with three males and one female. Cliff had his own bedroom where he tended to segregate himself, and not mix with the others. Cliff’s motivation and morale where very low, and he tended to isolate himself, and would not take part in activities.

How did we help?

Cliff was under a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation (DoLS). DoLS is sometimes necessary to limit a person's freedom to give them the care they need, or to prevent them from harm. In 2016, Cliff had a Section 21a Court Challenge instigated to challenge his DoLS and give him more freedom, but it was concluded that it was in bis best interests to remain in his current placement.

However, the Local Authority, and other professionals involved in his care wanted to continue to try to promote community access for Cliff and work on these skills. Sadly this did not happen.

Our Advocate began working with Cliff in 2017 and had established clear and consistent wishes from him that he was unhappy with his current living arrangements. She once again initiated a Section 21a Challenge.

What was the outcome?

Cliff’s social worker began to look at alternative placements that could be available to him. A Residential Rehabilitation Placement was found, and Cliff has now been moved to a new environment which is less restrictive. Cliff now has more independence, unsupervised community access (following a risk assessment) and is free to access the community on his own.

Cliff is also living with new people who are more suited to him, and is now building a good relationship with his new staff team and his peers. The aim is that Cliff spends a period of time in this less restrictive environment to build on daily living skills, including cooking, washing his own clothes, and general day-to-day running of a home, before his social worker considers and assesses whether or not he can live in the community in a flat of his own.

Cliff was very unhappy with his living arrangements. By having an Advocate, this allowed Cliff to be able to express his thoughts and opinions independently. Cliff knew that his Advocate was there purely for him, and to find out his thoughts and desires for his future. Cliff was always open and honest with his Advocate, and said that he feels like his Advocate is “on his side”.

Why was advocacy support so effective?

Cliff had someone independent and confidential to talk to about the emotional upset he was experiencing. Cliff was made aware of his rights, and aware of his right to challenge aspects of his living arrangements and wellbeing that he was not happy with. Cliff built up a very productive and trusting working relationship with his Advocate which resulted in the right outcome for him.

Without advocacy, Cliff could have potentially remained at his old placement for years to come being desperately unhappy.

  • *Name has been changed to protect the people we support.