An advocacy partnership led by NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has been awarded a contract to continue delivering general mental health advocacy to patients at Priory Group hospitals across the UK.

NYAS, a leading national children and youth advocacy charity will work in conjunction with POhWER, the largest provider of adult advocacy services in the UK, to deliver advocacy services to young people and adults at Priory Group mental healthcare hospitals and settings in England, Wales and Scotland, commencing in February 2019.

Whilst the partnership has been delivering advocacy expertise to Priory Group since 1st February 2016; the new agreement now covers some 86 sites and requires the delivery of more than 700 hours of advocacy per week. This latest contract award will see NYAS and POhWER advocates provide independent advocacy at an increased number of Priory Group hospitals and settings, working across an even wider geographical area. Priory Group has the largest network of independent mental healthcare hospitals and clinics in the UK

All of the Mental Health Advocates provided by the NYAS/POhWER partnership are specialist advocates who are professionally trained to understand the specific needs of Priory Group’s patients. They ensure that patients who are admitted to inpatient settings, are given a voice to make sure their rights are upheld. Advocates provide support to people with mental health issues and learning disabilities at times when it is important for their wishes and opinions to be heard and their feelings expressed, for instance representing them during discharge meetings, ward rounds and at multi-disciplinary team meetings.

Rita Waters, NYAS Chief Executive said, “Working in partnership with POhWER we are able to offer outstanding mental health advocacy experience, with an all-encompassing geographical reach across the UK. This is a wonderful opportunity for our two organisations to continue to make a difference in the lives of yet more young people and adults.
“Having a mental health issue can mean your voice often goes unheard but, through our work with the Priory Group, we are able to make a positive impact by ensuring rights are upheld and people with mental health issues are heard and their wishes and feelings taken seriously. Our joint purpose is to make a real and lasting difference for everyone we support, and we are committed to delivering this in partnership with the Priory Group to uphold the rights of people and ensure their enhanced wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.”

Jane Stone, Director of Nursing at the Priory Group, comments; “We are delighted to announce that we have awarded NYAS and POhWER the provision of general advocacy services for our healthcare hospitals. We have previously worked with the organisation to deliver advocacy for some of our sites and following a competitive procurement process they were the successful bidder. We are looking forward to our expanded contract starting in February 2019 and are currently working with them and our existing providers, to ensure a smooth transition for advocacy for the New Year.”