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Your Voice Counts Advocacy Services

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)

Information for professionals

Who is IMCA for?

The IMCA service is for any person who:


  • lacks capacity regarding the particular decision being referred for and

  • has no family member or other unpaid person who would otherwise be appropriate to consult about that decision.

IMCA referrals can be made for the following issues:

  • The proposed giving or withholding of serious medical treatment

  • A proposed change of or review of accommodation

  • A decision that is required within safeguarding procedures for an adult at risk 

  • Where a local authority has authorised or is considering authorising a DoLS (deprivation of liberty) request or is applying to the Court of Protection for deprivation of liberty authorisation.

What areas does the service cover?

As per The Mental Capacity Act, IMCA eligibility is based on the location of the referred person at the time they require support. Our Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside IMCA services therefore work with any person who is in either area at the time of need.

Who can refer and how?

Referrals to the IMCA service should only be made by ‘the decision maker’ (or with the decision maker’s express consent) - the individual who will ultimately make a best interests decision on behalf of the person lacking capacity.
All DoLS IMCA referrals must be made by the local authority MCA/DoLS team.
Referrals should be submitted accompanied by an assessment showing that the referred person has been assessed as lacking capacity regarding the specific decision for which they are being referred.

For more information or advice about a referral, please contact us.

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