The Mental Capacity Act 2005

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service is central to the working of the Act. IMCAs work with people who lack capacity to make certain important decisions and have no one else who can be consulted to try and establish their wishes. The IMCA service for West Wales is co-ordinated across the counties of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire by Mental Health Matters Wales.

An IMCA must be instructed, and then consulted, for people lacking capacity who have no-one else to support them (other than paid staff), whenever:

  • an NHS body is proposing to provide serious medical treatment, or
  • an NHS body or Local Authority is proposing to arrange accommodation (or a change of accommodation) in hospital or a care home, and the person will stay in hospital longer than 28 days, or they will stay in the care home for more than 8 weeks.

An IMCA may be instructed to support someone who lacks capacity to make decisions concerning

  • Care reviews relating to accommodation where no-one is available to be consulted for people aged 16 or over
  • Adult Protection cases, whether or not family, friends or others are involved and are aged 18 or over

Referrals can be made by an authorised person and should be made in writing by completing a referral form and sending it by fax, email or post.

Where a verbal referral is made the referral form should be completed within 24 hours.

To find out more about the IMCA service contact: IMCA Wales (part of Mental Health Matters Wales

Dewis Cymru is the place to go if you want information or advice about your well-being – or want to know how you can help somebody else.

ID: 2182, revised 11/08/2022