Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The purpose of the MCA and DoLS Policy document is to provide the framework for assessing people’s mental capacity, as well as assessing best interests in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009 and Codes of Practice.

The policy aims for service users feel they have access to:

  • good information and advice
  • support in making specific decisions
  • flexible care and support and
  • risk enablement to allow them to plan and keep control
  • ECC Prioritisation Tool - for DoLS authorisation requests


Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Assessment 

Following the Supreme Court ruling on 19 March 2014 with regard to Cheshire West and Chester Council v P, Essex County Council has experienced an unprecedented increase in requests for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Assessments.

As a result, the Council has adopted a Prioritisation Tool that is used to assess the risks and help decide on allocation order of assessments.


Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

An IMCA is an advocate who has been specially trained to support people who are not able to make certain decisions for themselves and do not have family or friends who are able to speak for them.

IMCAs do not make decisions and they are independent of the people who do make the decisions.


VoiceAbility - Advocacy Service

VoiceAbility have been supporting people to be heard when in matters for over 40 years in decisions about their health, care, and wellbeing.  It is independent charity and one of the largest providers of advocacy and involvement services in the UK. 

VoiceAbility provide advocacy services across Essex county, covering all forms of statutory advocacy and also non-statutory advocacy. This includes the following:

Statutory Services:

  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
  • Paid Relevant Person Representative (RPR)
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
  • Independent Care Act Advocacy (ICAA)
  • Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA
  • Independent Advocacy for Children and Young People

Non-statutory services:

  • Independent Advocacy for young people with mental health problems who are receiving Community Mental Health Services
  • General Advocacy 
  • Peer and Citizen Advocacy 

As of the 1st July all advocacy services transferred from Rethink to VoiceAbility.

Contact Voiceability

Telephone     0300 303 1660 (calls are free from UK landlines and mobiles) 



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