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

Welcome to our June newsletter!

Below you'll find information on our current training as well as information about our forthcoming guidance on 'Assessing, Supporting and Empowering Specific Decision Making' in relation to making financial decisions. We've also included recent articles and judgements relating to the Mental Capacity Act.

Please note that we are able to deliver all our training in house, get in touch for further details.


Non-instructed advocacy training for Independent Mental Health Advocates 

*new date* - Birmingham

Date: - 12th September 2014 - Birmingham
Time: 10 - 4pm

IMHAs will often support people eligible for their service who can describe their issues and the support they want. What about those people who are eligible but are very unwell and lack the capacity to refer themselves to the service? These clients may not be able to be fully involved in decisions about their own care and treatment; or the nature of their mental disorder e.g. dementia, means they may not retain information about what the IMHA service can do and as a result miss out on vital independent advocacy representation. It is appropriate to use non-instructed advocacy in this situation and the Code of Practice advocates this, but how does that actually work in practice? Who refers the patient and what is the IMHA’s role if the person cannot tell you what they want or need? What skills are needed and how does the IMHA explain their role to patients and to mental health professionals?

This course is for IMHAs who want to improve their non-instructed advocacy skills. Through attending this course, advocates will be able to:

•    Understand the need for non-instructed advocacy in a mental health setting.
•    Develop practical non-instructed advocacy skills using a variety of methods.
•    Use a framework to plan and manage non-instructed advocacy cases.
•    Identify relevant ethical and professional boundaries

Feedback from our recent training:

"Very practical”

“Very well presented, relevant, useful”

“Clear expertise in this area”

“Comprehensive, practical – ‘real life’ usage – thank you”

“Good to focus on non-instructed advocacy for IMHAs”

If you would like a course to be arranged in your local area please get in touch and we can arrange this. To book a place please click on the following link:


Report writing and using case law training for IMCAs

*new date* - Birmingham

Date:  - 4th September 2014 Birmingham
Time: 10 - 4pm

IMCAs need to be able to produce quality, well-evidenced reports that provide decision makers with information about their investigations and are a thorough representation of their client’s situation.

The IMCA’s report is an important document that can influence the decision to be made in their client’s best interests. Writing high quality reports, containing all the necessary information and using relevant case law to ensure maximum impact is not easy when managing a busy caseload.

This course is aimed at IMCAs who want to improve or refresh their report-writing skills and gain confidence in using up-to-date case law in their reports. There have been some significant cases in the Court of Protection during the last year that may affect clients or have implications for IMCA practice. The course will look at how best to represent your client through the IMCA report and will examine a range of judgments in the Court of Protection and how they can be used in reports.

Through attending the course IMCAs will be able to:

•    Review and evaluate the report writing template they currently use.
•    Identify the components of a good quality report.
•    Adapt reports depending on the type of decision.
•    Identify how to write a good conclusion.
•    Use relevant case law in IMCA reports.
•    Use the IMCA Report Writing Evaluation tool.

Cost of the course: £95

To book a place please click on the following link:

National IMCA Conference 

We are still seeking your views about the next national IMCA conference. As many of you will be aware the last conference was held in 2011 and since that time there have been many developments in this area. Please take 5 minutes to answer just a few simple questions that will enable us to host a conference that reflects the issues the sector would like to see covered. To provide feedback please click on this link:

Empowerment Matters forthcoming guidance

We have recently circulated our draft guidance on 'Financial Decision Making - Assessing, Supporting and Empowering Specific Decision Making'. Most issues taken to the Court of Protection are financial ones. There is an impression that decision specific capacity assessment in relation to financial decision making is not well understood or practiced.  Therefore there is a need, in particular, for better understanding for capacity assessment for financial decision making, through a practitioner guide. We wish to thank those that have contributed so far in relation to what is important and needs to be covered in this area. We have a virtual reference group and this guidance is funded by the Department of Health. We hope to publish the final version soon. If you would like further information in the meantime, please do get in touch.

Forthcoming free workshops

We will shortly be advertising a series of free training workshops for care homes and advocacy providers aimed at promoting supportive decision making and enabling care homes residents to have more of a say in decisions about their own finances. The workshops will be very interactive with the opportunity for discussion and consider how advocacy including IMCAs can be involved in these decisions.  Relevant case studies, case law and practical examples are used to bring the Act to life and enable participants to apply it to their everyday practice.
The workshops will cover the following:

•    Identify the importance of residents being able to purchase support that would enhance their quality of life. 
•    Understand how residents can purchase advocacy to support them on long term or day-to-day decisions.
•    Analyse how the Mental Capacity Act, supported decision making/best interests can address financial abuse. 
•    Understand how in particular the Mental Capacity Act applies to financial decision-making.

Further information will be sent out in due course but if you are interested in attending or hosting one of the workshops, please get in touch as places / number of sessions will be limited.

Recent news and judgements

The Governments response to the House of Lords Select Committee Report on the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Mr Justice Hayden to consider the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition & hydration for man in a minimally conscious state in the Court of Protection

Deprivation of liberty cases will rise ten-fold due to Supreme Court ruling, say councils

Depart of Health open consultation on regulations and guidance with regards the Care Act 2014
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Empowerment Matters CIC Registered Office: Liscard Business Centre, The Old School, 188 Liscard Road, Liscard
Merseyside, CH44 5TN Tel: 0151 2035714 
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