Journal Article

Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005: The Emergent Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service

Marcus Redley, Isabel C. H. Clare, Lydia Luke and Anthony J. Holland

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 6, pages 1812-1828
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp135
Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005: The Emergent Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service

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The Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005 (MCA) introduced the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service to ensure that the views of adults who lack capacity to make particular potentially life-changing health and social care decisions are represented to substitute decision-makers. This paper presents quantitative and qualitative data from an evaluation of the pilot IMCA service that preceded the introduction of this new, statutory, form of advocacy. Importantly, our findings suggest that in more than half of the decisions completed during the period of the evaluation (54 per cent of 109 completed cases), clients were able to provide some indication of their wishes, enabling them to participate directly in personal decisions that they were unable to make autonomously. We discuss the implications of our findings both for the development of statutory advocacy in England and Wales and for other models of substitute decision-making.

Keywords: Mental Capacity Act; advocacy; decision making; health; social care

Journal Article.  7031 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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