What is an Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy?

When a doctor or social worker asseses someone as lacking capacity to make an important decision, they are entitled to the support of an IMCA. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 this is a legal right for all people aged over 16 in England, if they lack capacity and do not have an appropriate family member or friend to represent their views. An IMCA is only needed if the person cannot understand information relevant to a particular decision, retain it, weigh up the pros & cons and then communicate their decision.

An IMCA is independent of health and social care services and will represent the individual in discussions to work out whether the proposed decision is in their best interests, taking account of their current and previous wishes, beliefs and preferences.

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