Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) service provides advocates for the most vulnerable people in our society to make key decisions in their life. If they don't have capacity to make the decision themselves and they don't have family or friends to support them to make that decision they will be eligible for an IMCA. This right is enshrined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
An IMCA can be instructed where there is a decision to be made regarding one of two specific issues:
- Serious medical treatment
Were an NHS body proposes to provide, withdraw or withhold treatment
- Change of accommodation
Where an NHS body or Local Authority proposes a move to hospital for more than 28 days or to alternative accommodation for more than 8 weeks
An IMCA will also support someone who is being ‘deprived of their liberty’ in some way in a care home or hospital as part of their care arrangements.
Role of an Advocate
- Visit the client and try to find out what they want
- Talk to others who know them to try and establish what their wishes and beliefs are
- Ask questions to keep them at the centre of the decision making process
- Check the processes to ensure that their rights are upheld.