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IMCA & Mental Capacity Act Newsletter
Advocacy and Mental Capacity Act Resource, Support and Information Agency


Welcome to our newsletter!


This will be our final newsletter of 2014 but before the Christmas festivities begin we wanted to let you know about some forthcoming training, including a series of pilot workshops that we're running in conjunction with Irwin Mitchell on the Care Act. We will be looking at rolling these out across the country as full day training days for all advocates, but this will be a taster session to begin the New Year, beginning in Cambridge.

We also have some news and updates about the recently formed Action Advocacy Alliance, a Court of Protection judgement from Rochdale that raises questions about the Cheshire West judgement as well as new guidance launched on the Role of Litigation Friend.

Thank you to everyone for their support and interest in our work these last 12 months and we look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Care Act Workshop - Cambridge Pilot
Are you prepared for the Care Act? We will be holding a taster session on this new legislation in preparation for a series of full day training days. They will cover:
  • Information about the legal framework.
  • Best practice in 'needs assessments'.
  • How the Care Act will work in practice and options for challenge as an advocate.
  • The Independent advocate’s role under the Care Act
  • Eligibility for advocacy including similarities/differences to IMCA
  • Supported decision-making.
To book a place at one of the following workshops:

4th February, 10 - 1pm at Irwin Mitchell offices in Cambridge
3rd March, 10 - 1pm at Irwin Mitchell offices in London
18th March, 10 - 1pm at Irwin Mitchell offices in Manchester

please click on this link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3RSWMZJ

Please note there will be a charge of £45.

We wish to thank Irwin Mitchell for their contribution and support in part funding these.

Forthcoming training

Non instructed advocacy for IMHAs
Bristol: 26th February 2015 10 - 4pm
Newcastle: 5th March 2015, 10 - 4pm
To book a place please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3D89PYC

Report Writing & Case Law for IMCAs
Newcastle: 12th March 2015, 10 - 4pm
To book a place please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3DF3N36

Cost for either course is £95 per person and includes all handouts & resources. 

Litigation Friend Guidance published

As many of you will know, Alex Ruck Keene has been working on guidance commissioned by the Department of Health. Alex explains this guidance is for IMCAs, RPRs and other advocates (as well as family members and friends of putative ‘P’s) considering acting as litigation friends in the Court of Protection.

The guidance has now been published, and is hosted by the University of Manchester. As described in its introduction:

Th[e] Guidance aims to demystify the Court of Protection generally and the role of litigation friend specifically so as to enable more people to consider taking up the role – thereby ensuring the better promotion and protection of the rights of those said to be lacking capacity to take their own decisions.

Because of its scope, the guidance may also serve as a useful (free) overview for others wishing to learn more about the Court of Protection.

To access the guidance please click on this link: http://www.law.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/Main%20site/LAC/Acting-as-a-Litigation-Friend-in-the-Court-of-Protection-October-2014.pdf

Action Advocacy Alliance
As you may be aware a number of national, regional, and local advocacy providers commissioned and were involved in developing a scoping exercise around the need and potential for a national network/voice for the sector. 

The Mental Health Foundation was commissioned to undertake this work and presented the report to an open meeting of advocacy sector representatives in June 2014.  
There was a broad consensus that there needed to be a united and national voice to enable equality within the sector – ensuring all voices are equal and providing a national contact.   There was consensus around the need to promote advocacy and for the sector and to be able to exert influence through having a collective voice. It was also agreed that being able to share and provide information about advocacy and advocacy services nationally, as well as contribute to and influence national policy and practice, were important activities that could be achieved.   

The steering group has met twice since September 2014 and will be meeting every 2 months.  The Mental Health Foundation is acting in a coordinating and facilitating role, supporting the advocacy sector to speak for itself via the development of a national voice.

The steering group aims to be inclusive and representative of the sector.  Current members have come into the group through the widely attended Scoping Exercise meetings where opportunity to further participate was provided to all attendees.  The steering group has agreed an interim structure around the management of functions and representation from the sector.

The above is an extract from their most recent newsletter. To be added to the mailing list or for further information please contact: KJenkins@mentalhealth.org.uk

A new definition of Deprivation of Liberty?
In a surprising Court of Protection case heard on 7th November, Mr Justice Mostyn handed down a judgement that queries deprivation of liberty and what it means for someone when they are so disabled they are unable to leave their own home. Is it a deprivation of liberty or not? Not surprisingly this judgement has left many practitioners working in this area wondering how or if the types of issues raised surrounding Article 5 will ever be resolved. To access the judgment in full please click here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2014/45.html

To access Alex Ruck Keene's summary including comments from others please click on this link: http://www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk/js-mill-strikes-back-mostyn-j-takes-on-the-supreme-court/

Please note that due to the Christmas & New Year break, there may be a delay in confirming your place on any workshop or training course.
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