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Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs)

The IMCA service for the London Borough of Newham is provided by VoiceAbility. To refer to an IMCA on behalf of a service user who resides within Newham please download and complete the referral form.

IMCA Referral Form

What is an IMCA?

IMCAs are specialist advocates who provide safeguards for adults when they lack capacity to make some important decisions. The IMCA service is provided under the Mental Capacity Act.

More information on Mental Capacity

Understanding the Mental Capacity Act

Deciding who can have an IMCA and what the IMCA does is set out in law.

Who can have an IMCA?

If you are an adult without family or friends, and you lack capacity, you are entitled to an IMCA when people are making a decision about:

  • serious medical treatment or
  • where you will live

You may also get an IMCA when you do not have the capacity to agree to arrangements to safeguard you.

What do IMCAs do?

  • Find out your wishes, feelings, beliefs and values and what these would probably be if you had capacity

  • Support and represent you to work out whether the proposed decision is in your best interests

  • Get the views of professionals and paid workers providing care or treatment for you

  • Provide information to professionals to help work out what is in your best interests

  • Check that the decision is being made in line with the Mental Capacity Act

  • Write a report which must be considered before they make the decision.

They are independent of the person making the decision

They do not

  • Make the decision

  • Carry out the capacity test

  • Persuade you what to do

  • Decide who is the right person to talk to

  • Have as extensive a role as other advocates

Useful documents and information

VoiceAbility general leaflet

A guide for health and social care staff

A guide for family and friends

Information about who should be referred to an IMCA

IMCA Referral Form

Please send completed forms to

For questions about IMCA queries please:
Call: VoiceAbility IMCA Hotline on 0845 0175 198 or

For further information please visit Newham's VoiceAbility website

VoiceAbility Website​​​​​