Who might need this: people being assessed under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards; people without a Relevant Person’s Representative; unpaid Relevant Person’s Representatives.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocates are known as IMCAs. They’re specially trained to support people who lack capacity and make sure their views and wishes are heard. They’re trained in the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
It’s a statutory service. This means that, under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, local authorities must refer people who need an IMCA.
How a DoLS IMCA can help
- Meet with the person to try and gain their views, wishes and feelings
- Support the person to be as involved as possible in the assessment for a DoLS
- Speak to other people in the person’s life (e.g. care workers) to gather information
- Write a report for the person responsible for deciding to authorise a DoLS.
- Access relevant care and health records.
- Act as an RPR if there is no-one else to do it temporarily
- Challenge decisions
- Help an unpaid RPR to understand their role and responsibilities
If people can’t tell their advocate what they want, it’s not a problem. Our advocates will find different ways of working to help establish people’s views and wishes as far as possible so that their rights can be upheld. We call this ‘non-instructed’ advocacy.
Who can make a referral?
- The local authority (usually the DoLS team)
- If you are an unpaid RPR and want support from an IMCA, you need to contact the local authority DoLS team and ask them to make a referral for you