The Devon and Torbay Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA) service has a specific role prescribed by the Mental Capacity Act. It works on behalf of people who:
Under safeguarding this second criteria might be used more flexibly, where it is considered to be in the best interests of the person.
There is a statutory responsibility to instruct an IMCA where the person meets the criteria and a decision needs to be made:
An IMCA could also be instructed:
The IMCA also has a number of specific functions within the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards process. Where the person is un-befriended the supervisory body must instruct an IMCA. (SCIE Guidance)
The IMCA will:
The decision-maker should keep the IMCA informed about the best interests process and about the decision when it’s made.
Once an IMCA is instructed they remain so until ‘de-instructed’ by the decision-maker, except in the safeguarding process, so it’s essential that the decision-maker is aware of the IMCA’s role and contribution.
The IMCA service will work in the bounds of confidentiality and the Data Protection Act at all times. The IMCA report is prepared for the decision-maker and should not be made available to others without their agreement, or as part of a best interests decision.
There is no statutory requirement for the IMCA service to have access to a copy of a mental capacity assessment before acting on the instruction; but all information given to the IMCA will help the process and guide the IMCA.
Before making an instruction for an IMCA in safeguarding adults, it is necessary to assess the person as lacking capacity for at least one protective measure which is either being considered, or has been put in place.
This page was last modified: 3rd Jan 2014