Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy, DoLS and Paid Representation

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out a legal requirement to assist vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about serious medical treatment and changes of accommodation.   This is known as Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA).

An IMCA will be appointed to make a particular decision related to a change of accommodation or serious medical treatment. Our IMCA’s will meet with you and other people who know you, and consider information about you. Then they will provide a report to the decision maker to inform the decision they are making to ensure it is in your best interests.

An IMCA can also be appointed in adult protection/safeguarding cases and care reviews if required.

An IMCA also provides a role within Deprivation of Liberties Safeguarding.

If you have been assessed as lacking capacity and the Local Authority is considering whether to restrict your liberties to keep you safe, you are entitled to an IMCA if there is no one else appropriate.

The safeguards are intended to protect you by preventing arbitrary decisions that deprive vulnerable people of their liberty. If you do need to be deprived of your liberty the safeguards are intended to provide representatives, rights of appeal and for the “deprivation” to be reviewed and monitored. In this case, an IMCA would similarly gather information about you, and your life, to inform the decision and ensure it is made in your best interests.

All referrals for a DoLS IMCA need to come through the Local Authority.

Paid Representative

The Paid Representative Service is an area of work created by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS).

If you are deprived of your liberty you will have a representative appointed, preferably a family member or suitable close acquaintance. However, if you do not have anyone who can act in that way for you, then you will be appointed a paid representative who must be independent of the Local Authority or Primary Care Trust who appoints them.

The role of the representative is:

To maintain contact with you

To represent and support you in all matters relating to DOLS, including, if appropriate, triggering a review, using an organisation’s complaints procedure on your behalf or making an application to the court of protection.

How to access the IMCA services

Referral to this service is usually by the decision maker (others can make the referral but the decision maker should be aware).

If the person is in Havant or East Hampshire, contact Havant and East Hants IMCA on 02392 484422 or email the referral form to advocates@easthantsmind.org

Referral forms can be found here in PDF or Word versions