Unit 68 – Providing Independent Mental Capacity

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An independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) must be instructed for people in the following circumstances
  * The person is aged 16 or over
  * A decision needs to be made about either a long-term change in accommodation or serious medical treatment  
  * The person lacks capacity to make that decision, and
  * There is no one independent of services, such as a family member or friend, who is “appropriate to consult”
  * An IMCA may also be provided to people for other decisions concerning
  * Care Reviews, or Adult Protection
In adult protection cases an IMCA may be instructed even where family members or others are available to be consulted.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
IMCAs must be instructed for people who are being assessed as to whether they are currently being, or should be deprived of their liberty, where there is no-one “appropriate to consult”
IMCAs must also be made available to people who are subject to a standard authorization in the following circumstances:
  * To fill gaps between appointments of person’s representatives. If a person has an unpaid representative, when requested by the person, their representative, or if the Supervisory Body believes either could benefit from the support of an IMCA.
Note 1: IMCAs can only work with an individual once they have been instructed by an appropriate person/ body. For accommodation decisions and care reviews this is likely to be the local authority responsible for the arrangements. For serious medical treatment decisions this will be a medical practioner who has responsibility for the person’s treatment. For adult protection cases this will be the local authority coordinating the adult protection proceedings. For the IMCA roles in DOLS this will be the Supervisory Body.
Note 2: Most parts of the Mental Capacity Act apply to people aged 16 and over. This includes the provisions relating to IMCAs. Some parts of the MCA only apply to people over the age...