Commissioning and monitoring of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) services
Breakdown of budget
The example IMCA service specification (appendix 1) suggests breaking down the IMCA provider's budget into the following categories:
- direct costs of providing IMCAs to respond to instructions – this to include case work, travel time and time spent in supervision. (The total hours of IMCA s’ time should be recorded/split between direct advocacy and travel time.)
- administrationand overheads – to include office costs, phone, IT and travel
- management, training and supervision(the supervisor's time)
- IMCA information service – the staffing costs of responding to enquiries about accessing the IMCA service
- other activities to support the implementation of the MCA. – this could include staffing costs of any awareness-raising and training on the IMCA role, and participation in local strategic forums (for example, safeguarding adults boards and MCA implementation networks)
- disputed legal costs – money used to pay any legal costs incurred by the IMCA service in relation to supporting and representing individuals.
In setting budget categories, it is useful to clarify:
- whether travel costs associated with IMCA case work are included as an overhead or direct advocacy cost
- whether travel time is included in the number of hours of advocacy provided
- whether the time the IMCA spends having their case work supervised is included in the number of hours of advocacy provided. Similarly, whether the time the supervisors spend supervising IMCA case work is included in the number of hours of advocacy provided
- how to allocate time spent responding to potential referrals before an IMCA is instructed. In some organisations this work is done by IMCAs, while in others it is done by referral coordinators. This means this cost could be allocated either as a direct advocacy cost or to administration.