The Nottingham Advocacy Group: a short history

Marian Barnes and Colin Gell

in Critical Perspectives on User Involvement

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427519
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305590 | DOI:
The Nottingham Advocacy Group: a short history

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The Nottingham Advocacy Group (NAG) was one of the earliest advocacy groups to be established in the mid-1980s. It developed good relationships with local service providers, was influential in supporting the development of other local groups and national organisations, such as the UK Advocacy Network, and played an important role in the lives of service users who became involved in the group or benefited from its advocacy services. But NAG also experienced internal differences and, as user involvement came to be accepted as official policy within the NHS, found itself undermined when the local NHS Trust decided to offer advocacy contracts to another organisation. This experience questioned the robustness of the ‘partnerships’ that had been agreed between NAG and local service agencies and left the group in search of a role in a changed environment. This chapter considers the history of the group over approximately 20 years and reflects on how NAG's experience illustrates the challenges facing user groups as user involvement has become official policy.

Keywords: advocacy; mental health service; partnership; movement history

Chapter.  5592 words. 

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