Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service

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What is an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)?

A picture of a client sitting across from a doctor talking 

POhWER advocates support people who have been deemed to lack mental capacity by a doctor or social worker. 

A picture of someone sitting with their carer in front of a document called mental capacity act 

>Lacking mental capacity means people think someone is unable to make key decisions about their life. 

an advocate supporting their client.

An advocate might support someone who doesn't have appropriate family or friends.


A picture of a police man standing in front of a document that says law=

It is a person's legal right to be supported by an advocate if they are deemed to lack capacity and have no one else they can rely on. 

What can an advocate do?

A picture of a report.

An advocate will aim to understand a person views and beliefs and will use this to write a report about a person.

A group of professionals sitting round a table trying to make a best interest decision about a client.

The report can then be used by doctors  and decision-makers to reach a decision about care and treatment that they think is in the best interests of the person.

An advocate looking at three different options on paper.

Sometimes an advocate will look at different options different to the ones the professionals have suggested.

A person with a megaphone.

The advocate will ensure the person is included in any decisions about them, and fight for their voice to be heard. IMCAs can challenge decisions made by doctors and social workers.

When can someone have an IMCA?

A picture of someone sitting with their carer in front of a document called mental capacity act.

A person must be deemed to lack mental capacity.


A picture of a packet of tablets.

There is to be a decision about serious medical treatment. This is when an NHS body gives, takes away or withholds treatment.

A person looking at lots of different houses.

A decision about a change of accommodation is being made. This is when an NHS body or local council decides to move a person to a hospital or other accommodation.

An IMCA can support when:

A safeguarding alert logo.

A person is going through a Safeguarding procedure.

A safeguarding logo with lots of people standing behind t together.

When a person is going through a safeguarding procedure they can have an advocate and family to support them.

A picture of a care plan document.

An IMCA can support when someone is going through a care review – this means certain changes may be being made to their care plan.