Independent mental capacity advocates
Independent mental capacity advocates

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Independent mental capacity advocates
  • The independent mental capacity advocate service
  • When to appoint
  • Serious medical condition
  • Long-term care move
  • Adult protection cases and care reviews
  • Who can be an independent mental capacity advocate?
  • Who has a duty to instruct independent mental capacity advocates?
  • The independent mental capacity advocate's role
  • Ascertaining the person's views, feelings, wishes, beliefs and values
  • More...

Independent mental capacity advocates

Note that this Practice Note addresses only English law. Following devolution there are now differences between the English and Welsh rules on many aspects of the regulations regarding the appointment of independent mental capacity advocates.

Independent mental capacity advocates (IMCA) were created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005). Their purpose is to assist local authorities and the National Health Service (NHS) with regard to persons over 16 without capacity where a decision that will have a significant effect on their health and welfare or long-term care and accommodation is required.

The independent mental capacity advocate service

The service provided by an IMCA is only designed for those circumstances where a person has no-one else able to support them and put forward their wishes, rights and needs. In order to properly implement their appointment the provisions of MCA 2005 are supplemented by:

  1. the MCA 2005 (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates) (General) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1832

  2. the MCA 2005 (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates) (Expansion of Role) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/2883

  3. the MCA 2005 Code of Practice, chapter 10

  4. a guidance booklet

The benefits of the service are:

  1. there is an independent person to review significant decisions being made

  2. the IMCA will be articulate and knowledgeable not only in relation to MCA 2005 but also about a person’s rights, health and social care systems and community care

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