Advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act

If it is decided that someone is "lacking capacity" to make a decision about their health and care support, they must be provided with an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (ICA).  

Only some professionals, such as a doctor or a social worker, can assess if someone is lacking capacity. This will not be a general assessment, but will be related to a specific decision around:

  • serious medical treatment given by the NHS
  • a change of accommodation
  • adult safeguarding procedures
  • care reviews
  • and must be assessed at the time the decision is to be made.

An IMCA may also provide support during an assessment around deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)

"Lacking capacity" means that a person is not able to make a decision themselves. This could be because of:

  • learning disability
  • mental health illness
  • acquired brain injury
  • dementia
  • effects of substance abuse.

The role of an IMCA will include:

  • understanding the wishes, views and feelings of the person involved
  • speaking to people involved in providing and making decision about the person’s care
  • getting letters and other important relevant documents
  • attending meetings
  • challenging decisions.

If it is decided that you need an IMCA, you will be referred to POhWER who deliver the IMCA service in Tower Hamlets.

Telephone: 0300 456 2370

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