Shropshire Council

Shropshire Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service (IMCA) can represent and support a person who lacks capacity, primarily in two situations:

  • Where a permanent change of accommodation is proposed
  • Where serious medical treatment is proposed

The IMCA will only become involved if the person lacks capacity to give their own views and when there's no-one else appropriate to consult, such as a relative or friend.

What does this mean for practitioners?

A referral to an IMCA about serious medical treatment decisions or changes of accommodation are statutory - the Mental Capacity Act calls this a duty. It's not an optional extra, something which may be a good idea or worth thinking about.

It's a legal requirement that a referral is made to an IMCA if all three following conditions are met:

  • A decision is needed about change of accommodation or serious medical treatment
  • The person lacks capacity to make the decision themselves
  • There are no family or friends appropriate to be consulted about the decision

What does a permanent change of accommodation mean?

Accommodation arranged by the local authority or NHS in a hospital for more than 28 days or a care home for more than eight weeks.

What does "serious medical treatment" mean?

This is less clear, but generally means something which may have serious consequences for the individual in question. An IMCA can also be involved in adult protection procedures and reviews of accommodation where people lack capacity to represent their own views.


The IMCA service provider in Shropshire is called POhWER and their contact details are:

  • Phone: 0300 456 2370/0300 456 2365
  • Email:
  • Web: