A new contract for advocacy services has been awarded to a North-east company.
Under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2003, anyone with a mental disorder has the right to access advocacy. Services they can provide include expressing views on their behalf and speaking on their behalf where required.
If there is a case where there is a requirement for the council to intervene in order to protect an adult at risk of harm, appropriate services must be offered to the individual through an independent advocate.
Following a tender process, Advocacy North East have been awarded the contract to provide this essential service for a four year period. Aberdeenshire Council have joined budgets with NHS Grampian and this new contract will provide one single joint service.
The council’s Policy and Resources Committee approved the award of the contract, with a possible extension period, which will begin on the 1st April 2017.
Advocacy North East is already providing services to Aberdeenshire Council, therefore a smooth transition is expected.
Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee Cllr Richard Thomson said: “We have both a moral and a legal requirement to provide independent services for people who are often not capable of expressing their own views fully in what can be incredibly challenging circumstances.
"When people need advocacy services, it is invariably because their personal circumstances have reached a critical point, and therefore it is essential that this contract is delivered sensitively with the services users at its very heart.
“The committee is pleased to see that after a rigorous procurement process, Advocacy North East have been successful. It is our hope that this will result in a smooth transition in the best interest of the service users. I look forward to meeting with the providers in the coming months, alongside my fellow councillors, to continue a close working relationship with Advocacy North East.”