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Independent mental capacity advocate


Definition or reference in primary legislation
Care Act 2014, S.68

(2) The relevant local authority must, if the condition in subsection (3) is met, arrange for a person who is independent of the authority (an 'independent advocate') to be available to represent and support the adult to whose case the enquiry or review relates for the purpose of facilitating his or her involvement in the enquiry or review; but see subsections (4) and (6).
(3) The condition is that the local authority considers that, were an independent advocate not to be available, the individual would experience substantial difficulty in doing one or more of the following--
(a) understanding relevant information;
(b) retaining that information;
(c) using or weighing that information as part of the process of being involved;
(d) communicating the individual's views, wishes or feelings (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).

Social Care Institute for Excellence

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced the role of the independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA).

IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific important decisions: including making decisions about where they live and about serious medical treatment options. IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as a family member or friend, who is able to represent the person.

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster
Think Local Act Personal

An independent person who is knowledgeable about the Mental Capacity Act and people's rights. An IMCA represents someone who does not have capacity to consent to specific decisions, such as whether they should move to a new home or agree to medical treatment. The law says that people over the age of 16 have the right to receive support from an IMCA, if they lack capacity and have no-one else to support or represent them.

Source: Project team

S.68(2) of the Care Act refers to an "independent advocate" rather than an "indpendent mental capacity advocate"

Use instead of
Consider using instead
See also
Parent of
Child of
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