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Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)

IMCA stands for Independent Mental Capacity Advocate.

IMCA is a type of advocacy introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 that gives some people who lack capacity a right to receive advocacy support in relation to important decisions about their care.

IMCA services must be provided by organisations that are independent from both NHS organisations and local authorities.

An IMCA’s role is to:

  • Represent and support the person in relation to their “best interests”.
  • Find out the views / feelings / beliefs of the person.
  • Make sure that the person can participate in the decision-making process.
  • Obtain & evaluate information
  • Look at other courses of action
  • Consider seeking a further medical opinion if necessary.
  • Check the Mental Capacity Act principles and best interests process are being followed
  • Prepare a report, which the decision maker has a legal duty to consider
  • Challenge the decision (including about capacity) if necessary, informally first and through Court of Protection as a last resort

IMCA advocates do not make decisions on behalf of the person they are representing. This is the responsibility of the ‘best interest’s decision maker’ such as the healthcare professional responsible for the procedure or treatment in question.

Accessing IMCA Advocacy

Access to an IMCA will be arranged through a person’s social worker.

Please note that Dudley Advocacy cannot accept referrals directly from people or their carers. Referrals will only be accepted through the Local Authority Social Care Workforce or member of the Mental Health Trust.


Dudley MBC’s IMCA provider is Dudley Advocacy.