Advocacy service needs local rules

Local authorities and NHS bodies should draw up local guidance on the use of independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) service.

According to government guidance, people lacking the capacity to make decisions about their care or who have had their accommodation arranged by the NHS or a council and have no other person to consult may be entitled to an advocate when their accommodation is being reviewed.

The guidance also proposes that the use of the Imca service must also be considered in protection cases for adults lacking capacity who have allegedly been abused or neglected, or who are alleged abusers.

The guidance says that the most practical way to apply the policy would be for local guidelines to be drawn up setting out the criteria to apply when deciding if someone is entitled to an Imca.

When qualifying criteria are met it would be unlawful not to consider appointing an IMCA, the guidance adds.The Imca service will support vulnerable people who lack capacity in making significant decisions, and will be rolled out in April under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Further information
Adult Protection, Care Reviews and the IMCA

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