user led mental health advocacy

Statutory Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) service is provided under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and is a statutory service. As such, the Department of Health have defined within the Act and the Code of Practice when an advocate must be instructed. The criteria laid out is fairly strict, and as an organisation we feel that the scope for the service should be wider. However BAMHAG are obliged to only work with those who fall in to the narrow criteria so that all appropriate referrals are taken up within our funding limits.

Decisions where and IMCA can be instructed

Long Term Residential Moves

Serious Medical Treatment

Care Reviews

Adult Protection Issues

Deprivation of Liberty Issue


An IMCA should not be instructed because there is a dispute between family members about a decision. The Code of Practice gives guidance on how to resolve disputes.

IMCA's should only be involved where there are no other friends or family who are appropriate to consult, except where the referral relates to an Adult Protection Issue. 

Issues relating to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards should be discussed with someone at the DoLS Helpline:

01274 434672

Please click here for the specific criteria where an IMCA may be instructed.



Please click on the links below;


IMCA Referral Guidance

IMCA Referral From

Roles and Responsibilities of an IMCA