IMCA Service
Devon and Torbay Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service

The IMCA service provides independent safeguards for people who lack capacity to make certain decisions. Find out how to make a referral to this service.

Making a referral
If you wish to refer a person living in Devon or Torbay to the service, please download a referral form from the link below.

A recent decision specific Mental Capacity Assessment should be completed and sent with your referral form.

If you are a Devon County Council employee please use the Mental Capacity Assessment form on Care First 6
If you are a Torbay Employee please use the Mental Capacity Assessment form on PARIS

Referral form

Submissions can be emailed to
To contact the IMCA service, please call 0845 231 1900.
What the IMCA will do

  •     Where possible find out the person’s wishes, feelings, values and beliefs
  •     Represent the person’s best interests
  •     Support the person through the decision making process as an independent person
  •     Safeguard the rights and entitlements of the person set out in the MCA, ensuring that the basic principles and the best interest checklist are being followed
  •     Where necessary access copies of the person’s Health and Social Care records (Section 35(6))
  •     Where appropriate challenge the decision on behalf of a person
  •     Where necessary seek a second medical opinion
  •     Submit a report, which the decision maker must take into account

Mental Capacity Act (MCA)
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) makes provisions for an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service. This service provides an independent safeguard to support vulnerable people who lack capacity to make important decisions and have no-one with whom it is appropriate to consult regarding those decisions.

The Act places an obligation on Local Authorities and/or NHS bodies to instruct and consult an IMCA when making a decision for a person who lacks capacity regarding the following decisions:

  • Serious Medical Treatment (Section 37)
  • When the Local Authority is proposing to arrange accommodation for someone for longer than 8 weeks (Section 38
  • When the NHS body is proposing to arrange accommodation for someone for longer than 28 days (Section 39)

The Act gives powers to Local Authorities to extend the functions of an IMCA service and may instruct an IMCA in cases of:

  • Care Reviews (where accommodation is being reviewed)
  • Safeguarding of Adults cases (the criteria of friends and family does not apply in Safeguarding cases)
  • Supporting people through the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) assessment process and for the duration of a DoLS Standard Authorisation

Contact Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy:
Telephone: 0845 231 1900

IMCA leaflet cover

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About Us

Living Options Devon is a well respected user-led organisation which works to ensure that people with disabilities and Deaf people can live the life they choose. Set up in 1990 LOD is a registered charity (Charity N0. 1102489) and a company limited by guarantee (No. 4925281). Based in Exeter and Barnstaple, our charitable aims mean we we can offer services across the South West and share good practice throughout the UK. Being led and run by people with disabilities and Deaf people ensures LOD has first hand knowledge and understanding of the issues facing service users and so is very well placed to increase the influence and voice of Deaf and disabled people. We do this by providing education, training and services which enable people to live the lives they choose.

We are happy to provide all information about Living Options Devon and its projects in alternative formats by request. Please contact us using the details above.

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Contact us

There are a number of ways you can contact us:

By telephone: 01392 459222

By email:

By SMS: 07856 426940

By post: Living Options Devon, Ground Floor Units 3-4, Cranmere Court, Lustleigh Close, Matford Business Park, Exeter EX2 8PW