Vito is currently living in a low secure mental health hospital and is detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act. The hospital was outside of the county which Vito usually lived in.

Annie, an advocate from POhWER visited Vito regularly but he declined to engage most of the time. Annie continued to offer advocacy support to him each week.

During a handover with the ward nurse, Annie asked how she could improve her engagement with Vito. The nurse explained that Vito is not very trusting of many people - Vito will say this is due to his external care team/social worker having broken their promises. The nurse explained that Vito’s social worker has not attended any of his meetings and does not make any contact with him or the ward.

Annie decided to speak to Vito about his frustrations with his social worker and see if there was anything she could support him with. Vito agreed to meet with Annie. Annie told Vito she was aware he was feeling quite fed up with not having any communication from his social worker. Vito said that he was frustrated as he no longer needs any treatment in hospital and wants to be discharged to a more suitable placement. He said that the social worker says she will call him but she never does.

Annie explained Vito’s right to request a tribunal but he felt that he would rather get the right support in place before leaving hospital and would rather have support to engage with his social worker. Annie explained that she could make contact with his social worker directly, support him to request a new social worker or support him to raise his concerns as a formal complaint. Vita wanted to raise his concerns formally as previous attempts to contact his social worker had failed.

Annie support Vito to write a complaint letter and worked with him to identify what he would like as an outcome. This was submitted to the Local Authority and a Microsoft Teams meeting was quickly arranged to discuss his concerns. He received an apology and a contact plan was agreed with the social worker.

Approximately a month after submitting the complaint, Annie followed up with Vito to see if contact with the social worker had improved. Vito said the social worker was now attending ward meetings via Microsoft Teams and she has been in more regular contact with the ward staff. Vito said he now has an additional caseworker who is looking for a more suitable placement for him. Vito was happy that things seemed to be moving along and he looks forward to moving on from the hospital. Vito thanked Annie for being involved and said “I am now much more positive about my future.”