Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)

The role of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate was introduced as part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005).  The main role of an advocate under the Mental Capacity Act is to provide an independent safeguard for people assessed as not being able to make some important decisions.  Their role is to ensure that people are as involved as possible in major decisions about their lives, and that any decisions made on a person’s behalf are made in that person’s best interests.

People over the age of 16 have a statutory right to IMCA if they:

  • Are facing decisions about long term accommodation, or serious medical treatment, or are subject to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), and
  • Lack capacity to make these decisions, and
  • Have no appropriate family or friends to consult.

The statutory authorities (Leeds City Council or the NHS services in Leeds) have a duty to instruct an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate if the criteria above are met.

The statutory authorities may also involve an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate in safeguarding cases and some care reviews when the person is assessed to lack relevant capacity.

Useful contacts:

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

The Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision-making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Archway Tower
2 Junction Road
N19 5SZ

Tel: 0845 330 2900


Department of Health (DH)

Responsibilities include setting health and social care policy in England. The Department’s work sets standards and drives modernisation across all areas of the NHS, social care and public health.

Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road

Tel: 020 7210 4850


Make an advocacy referral

If you would like to make an IMCA referral or enquire about what an IMCA can do for you, please click on one of the buttons below.

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