From Mental Health Law Online
An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) must be appointed and consulted when certain important decisions are to be made for a person who lacks capacity, if that person has no family or friends other than paid carers. This aspect of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force on 1 April 2007 in England and 1 October 2007 in Wales.
For a fuller explanation please see the external links.
Department of Health - main IMCA page
Department of Health - other documents and pages
- Dept of Health, 'The Third Year of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) Service 2009-10', 18/11/10 - Over 9000 people used an IMHA in 2009/10, which represents a 39% increase in referrals
- The second year of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service: 2008/2009 - published 23/12/09
- Independent advocacy qualifications - published 5/2/09
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy service from April 2007 - "This document provides guidance on the new Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy service, in England, and the new criminal offence in England and Wales that are introduced by the Mental Capacity Act from April 2007 and the planned implementation of the whole Act by October 2007"
- Making decisions: The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service - 6/3/09 - "This document sets out the role and responsibilities of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This edition has been updated to reflect the requirements of the MCA and MCA DOLS legislation."
- Making decisions: the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service - 17/4/07 (old edition) - "This booklet is one of a series of six on the Mental Capacity Act published by the Mental Capacity Implementation Programme (MCIP). MCIP is a joint government programme between the Department of Health, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Public Guardianship Office and the Welsh Assembly Government that has been established to implement the organisation, process and procedures to launch the Mental Capacity Act in 2007. This booklet provides information on the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service established by the Mental Capacity Act. It is not a statutory Code of Practice issued under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and is not a guide to how the law will apply to specific situations."
- Adult protection, care reviews and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA): Guidance on interpreting the regulations extending the IMCA role
- SCIE IMCA news page
- David Thompson, 'Good practice guidance for the commissioning and monitoring of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate services', Social Care Institute for Excellence, October 2009 (updated December 2010). This good practice guide contains: (1) issues to consider when reviewing IMCA contracts; (2) a revised example service specification; (3) suggestions for assessing quality; (4) an example engagement protocol; and (5) suggested tender requirements.