Advocacy Matters

IMCA - Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy was introduced as part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This gives people who have an impairment, injury or a disability which results in them being unable to make a specific decision for themselves, the right to receive independent support and representation.

Your local council, or the NHS decision maker MUST refer you if you have no ‘appropriate’ family and friends who can be consulted and you have been assessed as lacking the capacity to make a decision about:

  1. Any serious medical treatments
  2. A move to a hospital that would be for more than 28 days
  3. A move to a care home that would be for more than 8 weeks
  4. Your safety or care which is likely to result in you being deprived of your liberty

In addition, your local council, or the NHS decision maker MAY refer you if you lack capacity to make a decision about either:

  1. A Care review (if you have no ‘appropriate’ family and friends)
  2. A Safeguarding referral (whether you are the victim or alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether you have family and friends)

Role of an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate

An IMCA is there to:

  1. Find out about your views, wishes and feelings about the decision. This can be by talking to you and the people you are close to and it may involve talking to professionals who care for you.
  2. Communicate your views, wishes and feelings to decision makers.
  3. Provide information to you and to the decision makers to help work out what is in your best interests.

IMCAs will check whether decision makers are:

  1. applying the principles of the Mental Capacity Act;
  2. acting in the person’s best interest;
  3. choosing the least restrictive option for the person.

An IMCA can challenge decisions made by the decision maker, including the capacity assessment itself.

IMCAs will be allowed to meet with you in private and can ask to see all relevant health, social services and care home records.

All Advocacy Matters IMCAs have specialist skills in working with people who find communication difficult or find it very hard to express themselves. IMCAs also have specialist knowledge of Mental Capacity Act and other interrelated laws, codes and practices. You can learn more about your rights under Deprivation of Liberty Standards - DoLS by downloading the Deprivation of Liberty Standards.

How to Refer

Advocacy Matters work alongside POhWER to provide the IMCA Service in Birmingham. For solely IMCA referral POhWER will be the single point of access for both Advocacy Matters and POhWER advocates.


download referral form

Download the form IMCA Referral Form


Complete referral form

Please complete the referral form fully. This will help our advocates to deliver the support that individuals need.



Once you have completed the referral form please email it to POhWER or 



 POhWER on 0300 456 2370

Please note that Advocacy Matters provide advocacy under the Care Act in partnership with VoiceAbility. If your IMCA referral will be linked to a Care Act referral and you require the same advocate to provide consistency for the person see the Birmingham Care Act page. Click on the link and make a care act referral also asking for IMCA in one of the above decisions.


0121 321 2377

198 Boldmere Road
Sutton Coldfield
Birmingham B73 5UE