The role of the relevant person’s representative (RRP)

In certain circumstances, an advocate is asked to help someone with the decisions that are being made about them. Your relative/friend might be receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act. They might not be able to make decisions about their life, so will be protected under the Mental Capacity Act. Or they might need help to manage everyday tasks, so will have legal rights under the Care Act.


Your relative/friend has been detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, they are assigned a specialist advocate as a legal right. A specialist advocate can help them understand their rights, make sure those rights are defended, and that they can participate in decisions. This is also true if they are being treated outside hospital under a Community Treatment Order (CTO) or Guardianship, or they are a ‘conditionally discharged restricted patient’. Conditionally discharged patients are generally supervised in the community by a psychiatrist and a social worker. 

More about detainment under the Mental Health Act



Your relative/friend lacks ‘capacity’ to make decisions about their medical treatment, care and accommodation, and they don’t have someone to represent their interests, they will be assigned an advocate. This is a legal right under the Mental Capacity Act. The same is true if the person you know has been confined under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which is also covered by the Mental Capacity Act.

More about making decisions for someone else

An easy-read guide to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

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