Commissioning and monitoring of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) services
Setting the budget
The DH has provided additional funding to local authorities and PCTs to meet their statutory obligations in relation to the MCA including the commissioning of IMCA services. For local authorities, these funds were confirmed for the year 2010/11 (see Local Authority Circular LAC ( DH ) (2010) 3 ). For 2011 to 2015 the funding for IMCA services for local authorities is included in the funds for Ongoing Personal Socials Services. This fund is protected with an inflationary increase (see Local government and the spending review: annex).
The DH has provided additional funding to local authorities (and Primary Care Trusts – PCTs) to meet their statutory obligations in relation to the MCA including the commissioning of IMCA services. For local authorities, these funds have been announced up to and including the year 2010/11. (See LAC(DH)(2009)2: The Mental Capacity Act 2005, resources available for the year 2009–2010). There is no longer any guidance on the specific level of expenditure for IMCA services.
In setting levels for future funding of IMCA services, commissioners will need to consider:
- the likely continued rise in demand for the IMCA service as knowledge of the MCA increases
- the additional demands on the IMCA service because of the DoLS’ IMCA roles
- whether the discretionary powers to instruct IMCAs for care reviews and safeguarding adults decisions are being effectively used to ensure that individuals are given all possible support to have their views and wishes represented
- the infrastructure costs associated with supporting the delivery of a high-quality service that is always able to meet its statutory role in response to IMCA instructions
- risk strategies to meet a fluctuating and increasing demand
- potential legal costs incurred by the IMCA service in its role of supporting and representing individuals (see Disputed case costs, below).
- other advocacy work that is, or could be, undertaken by the IMCA provider, to support people lacking mental capacity
- the availability of other advocacy services locally which may impact on the need to use the discretionary powers in relation to care reviews and safeguarding adults.