Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
The IMCA service supports people who have no one appropriate to consult, and lack capacity to make a decision about
- Serious Medical Treatment
- Long Term Moves
- Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
- Needs Assessments
- Care Planning and Reviews
- Safeguarding Enquiries and Reviews
What does an IMCA do?
The IMCA will support the person and represent them in the decision making process, including
- Investigating a client’s past and present views and wishes
- Consulting with professionals, family and friends to help build a picture of the client’s history
- Ensuring that the client is as involved as they can be in the decision
- Securing a person’s rights and representing their interests
- Writing a report focusing on the principles of the Mental Capacity Act and Care Act, including the least restrictive options, promoting the client’s wellbeing and alternative choices
The IMCA’s report must be taken into account by the decision maker before they make the decision.
An IMCA does not
- Make capacity assessments
- Make decisions on behalf of the client
- Decide what is in the client’s best interest
- Decide who is ‘appropriate’ to consult
An IMCA has the right to
- Meet the person independently and in private
- Gain access and be able to read relevant social care and medical records
- Seek a second medical opinion
- Challenge the decisions made
- Speak to professionals about the client’s case
The IMCA service is free, confidential and independent.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
An IMCA may support someone subject to a Deprivation of Liberty.
A person is deprived of their liberty when they
- Lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment arrangements
- Are under continuous control
- Are not free to leave
A person is still deprived of their liberty if
- They do not object to the arrangement
- The arrangement is perceived as normal
Who can make a referral
The decision maker must decide if the person meets the criteria for an IMCA and make the referral.
We can take referrals from other professionals, who will need to provide the details of the decision maker.
How to make a referral
Please send a completed referral form to email@example.com