Funding for a new service that will provide advocacy for people who
lack capacity should be jointly allocated to councils and primary
care trusts, social work representatives have said.
In its response to a consultation on the independent mental
capacity advocate service, the British Association of Social
Workers said joint funding would prevent the agencies from playing
“political games”, “promote joint and integrated working” and
enable the agencies to “take local needs and resources into
However, it said councils and PCTs should form regional groups to
administer the service given its “relatively small size” – the
government envisages there will only be 144 advocates, less than
one per local authority across England.
The IMCA service is being introduced under the Mental Capacity Act
2005. It will help vulnerable people who lack capacity – and have
no family or friends – when they face important decisions made by
the NHS and local authorities about serious medical treatment or
changes of residence.
BASW said the service’s independence from social care and health
professionals would be “absolutely crucial” if it were to command