IMCA: Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy

An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate works on behalf of someone who ‘lacks capacity’. The IMCA speaks to people who know the person well to try and find out what they may have chosen if they did have capacity. They then write a report which contains any findings they feel is relevant to the decision. They pass on this information to decision makers (such as doctors or social workers) to help them work out what is in the best interests of the person.

An IMCA must be involved when a person who lacks capacity is facing a decision about:

  • serious medical treatment (such as an operation or some medical tests)
  • change in accommodation that is arranged by the local authority (Council) or a hospital stay that is longer than 28 days and they have no-one else to speak for them other than their paid carers.

An IMCA may be involved when a person who lacks capacity is:

  • due to have an accommodation review and they do not have a friend or relative who could be asked to represent their views.
  • a person who lacks capacity is involved in an adult protection case, even if that person has a friend or relative who can speak for them as well.

IMCAs should also be involved when Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) are registered.

Please click here to download the IMCA form.

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