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
- 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 - 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."