Iaith Gwaith Cymraeg

IMHA Client L

Client L was referred by a social worker. L was a young male detained under section 2 at the CAMHS unit. The Unit was a long way from L’s home and the social worker was concerned about the ability of his parents to offer him support within this setting. This concern was compounded by the fact that L had lapsed into a vacant and uncommunicative state without a known cause. A Child Protection Referral had been submitted and the potential existed for care proceedings to be instigated.

Barriers faced in being heard:

Statements were made to the IMHA that because of the L's current lack of communication he would not be able to engage in advocacy.

Advocacy undertaken:

  • The IMHA informed unit staff that a Non-Instructed advocacy approach would be adopted and an IMHA access to records request was submitted to the Mental Health Act office.
  • No information was offered by the unit to the IMHA with regard to the progression of L’s care and treatment. Engagement with the referrer provided information with regard to a review meeting held at the unit.
  • The IMHA was informed by the Mental Health Act office that L’s section had been regraded to Section 3.
  • No response was received with regard to the IMHA access to records request. When this was challenged by the IMHA, relevant permissions were provided by email and medical records were accessed.
  • The date of next review meeting was identified from records. The IMHA formally requested invitation to review meeting. IMHA challenged the denial of access and was granted permission to visit.
  • IMHA met with L who was completely unresponsive.
  • IMHA attended the review meeting at which the child protection concerns were discussed.


Subsequent to the review meeting a decision was made that L would be better served at home with support provided by community CAMHS practitioners.

L was discharged from the unit. He still exhibited no communication at this time. The social work team and unit staff reported to the IMHA that there was very little coordination and communication between the two teams.

The IMHA was able to communicate with the social work team following discharge and to ensure that concerns that arose at the unit with potential relevance to the child protection proceedings were made available to the members of the child protection conference.