Adult Social Care - Advocacy

Mental Capacity Act

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service is central to the working of the Mental Capacity Act.

The Mental Capacity Act places a responsibility on Local Authorities to ensure that people who are assessed as lacking the mental capacity have access to an independent advocate when they are having decisions made about them relating to:

  • Serious Medical Treatment (SMT).
  • Changes of NHS accommodation for 28 days or more.
  • Change of LA accommodation for more than 8 weeks.

Advocates work with someone who lacks capacity to make certain important decisions, and has no one else who can be consulted, to try and establish their wishes.

People can also access IMCA support in Accommodation Reviews and Safeguarding Adult situations.  People can receive IMCA support if they have no family or friends to represent them, with the exception of safeguarding adult cases.

IMCA's meet with the person and try to assist them in communicating and being as involved as possible in the decision making process.  The IMCA represent the wishes and feelings of the person and will consult with other people.  IMCA's check that those working with the person adhere to the main principles of the Mental Capacity Act and act as a safeguard for the person’s rights.

IMCA's provide the Decision maker with a written pre-decision report, making recommendations and will visit the person again after the decision has been made and provide a written post-decision report.  IMCA's will challenge decisions if necessary.