The Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a comprehensive legal framework for decision making for people who lack capacity to make particular decisions for themselves.
It is accompanied by a Code of Practice and is based on common law and good practice. It puts the needs and wishes of the person at the centre of any decision making process.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA) support and represent people who are assessed to lack the capacity to make decisions about certain prescribed decisions on their behalf, where they have no family or friends, who are otherwise willing, available and appropriate to consult with about those decisions.
IMCA DOLS - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)
Sometimes a vulnerable person who lacks capacity needs to be restricted in order to provide treatment or care which is necessary in their best interests to protect them from harm. The degree and level restrictions may amount to a deprivation of liberty (DOL).
Under certain circumstances, a DoLS IMCA can be instructed to act in a number of different ways. When there is no family member, friend or appropriate person, known as the Relevant Person's Representative (RPR), to support the relevant person (RP) through this process, the Supervising Body (SB) will appoint a DoLS IMCA. Once the application has been approved the SB can also instruct a DOLS IMCA either to support the RP, the RPR, both the RP and the RPR, or to act as the RPR themselves if no representative is available.