The Department of Health has published the fifth annual report on the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) service, which aims to empower and safeguard people who do not have the capacity to make certain important decisions.
The annual report provides statistical information on the continued increase in referrals to this statutory advocacy service and makes recommends to clinical commissioning groups and local authorities about its use for those who lack capacity.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 created this service to empower and safeguard people who do not have the capacity to make certain important decisions. The Act also introduced a legal duty on NHS bodies and local authorities to refer eligible people towards the IMCA service and consider their views.
The role of the IMCA is to represent and support people when critical decisions are going to be made on their behalf about provision of health or social care services. This is vital where someone is unable to make decisions themselves and do not have family or friends who could represent them.