All relevant people involved in the key care and support planning processes, and all independent advocates, are expected to understand and apply the Mental Capacity Act.
Notes The MCA introduced Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs). Under the MCA, when people meet the IMCA criteria, local authorities and the NHS have a duty to instruct an IMCA for changes in accommodation and serious medical treatment decisions. For care reviews and adult protection procedures, local authorities and the NHS have powers to appoint an IMCA (where they consider it beneficial).
IMCAs are independent and work for advocacy providers who are not part of a local authority or the NHS. The MCA requires ‘decision-specific’ assessments of capacity. The IMCA will stop being involved in a case once the decision has been finalised and they are aware that the proposed action has been carried out. They will not be able to provide on-going advocacy support to the person. If it is felt that a person needs advocacy support after the IMCA has withdrawn, it may be necessary to make a referral to a local advocacy organisation.
The right to an IMCA applies to decisions about long-term accommodation moves to or from a hospital or care home or a move between such accommodations (and serious medical treatment decisions). An IMCA safeguards the rights of people who: