What is an IMCA

Mental Capacity Act

Instruction (Referral) Procedures

IMCA Instruction (Referral) form

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Instruction (Referral) Form

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice

Eligibility Criteria

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) Information

Department of Health Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Draft addendum to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice

Evaluation form.

Contact Information











































Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) 


Please click HERE to access Department of Health Deprivation of Liberty Guidance Booklets



The role of Independent Mental Capacity Advocates within the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards


Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS), give additional rights and responsibilities to an IMCA, other than those assigned to them by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Chapter 3 of the DOLS Code of Practice provides a detailed list of those rights and responsibilities.


Within DOLS, IMCAs can be instructed on three occasions:


As soon as a request is made by the managing authority, if the relevant person has no appropriate family member or a friend (39A IMCA)


As part of the best interestís assessment, friends, family members or other representatives of the relevant person must be consulted to see if they agree that the proposed care plan or course of treatment is in the best interests of the relevant person. If there is nobody to represent the relevant person other than a professional or paid carer, the managing authority must notify the supervisory body when it applies for deprivation of liberty authorisation. The supervisory body must then instruct a section 39A IMCA immediately to represent the person.

The IMCA must then be consulted during the best interests assessment and provide support to the relevant person (acting on their behalf, where necessary) during the whole assessment process.


If there is a gap between one paid representative leaving and the appointment of another one (39C IMCA)


A person who is being deprived of their liberty must have someone to represent their interests at all times. This is the role of the relevant personís representative (RPR), usually a friend or family member, who should be consulted and informed about all matters relating to the care or treatment of their friend or family member while the authorisation lasts.


If the RPR has to give up their position for any reason, and a new RPR is not appointed immediately, the relevant person will be in a vulnerable position. In these situations, an IMCA must be instructed immediately to support the relevant person.


In such circumstances, the managing authority must notify the supervisory body, who must instruct a section 39C IMCA to represent the person, temporarily, until a new friend, family member or professional representative is appointed.


once the authorisation has been granted, if the relevant person does not have a paid representative, they or their representative can request an IMCA (39D IMCA)


Both the person who is deprived of liberty under a standard authorisation and their unpaid representative (RPR) have a statutory right of access to an IMCA under section 39D (39D IMCA).

If a relevant person or their unpaid representative requests such advocacy support, the supervisory body must instruct an IMCA


Relevant Personís Representative


The supervisory body must appoint a relevant personís representative for every person to whom they give a standard authorisation for deprivation of liberty. It is important that the representative is appointed at the time the authorisation is given or as soon as possible and practical thereafter.


As well as the three IMCA roles, Mental Health Matters Wales will also be fulfilling the role of the relevant personís representative when a DOLS authorisation is in place and the person has no-one available or appropriate to take on this role.


IMCA Wales is part of the Mental Health Matters Wales group, a registered charity (1123842) and a Company limited by guarantee (6468412)

Copyright © 2006 MHM Wales. All rights reserved