Asist is the provider of IMCA Services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. This page outlines the basic eligibility requirements of the Act.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 requires that Local Authorities and NHS bodies must instruct an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) when:


  • An eligible decision is to be made (Serious Medical Treatment; Change of Accommodation)
  • The person has been assessed as lacking capacity to make that decision
  • There are no friends or family willing, able or appropriate to be consulted as part of the best interests decision making process.

IMCA instructions can also be made for Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults when protective measures are proposed (irrespective of consultable friends/ family) and for Care Reviews relating to accommodation.

Contact Details



IMCA Information Booklet DoLS Leaflet My Next Patient May Lack Capacity

DoLS Safeguards



IMCA Referral

Referrals can only be made by the decision-maker, often a doctor or social worker, or someone authorised by them (authorised officer). The referral should be made in writing by completing a referral form (click the image below to download the form).

Referral Form

Please return the form to us by either e-mail, post or fax to:
Post: IMCA, Asist, Winton House, Stoke Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2RW
Fax: 01782 746647

Asist will confirm acceptance of referrals within one working day of receipt.

*** Please note that the IMCA service is only permitted to take IMCA instructions directly.  If you have made a DOLS referral the Supervisory Body will appoint an IMCA accordingly if required.***

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)


Hospitals and Care Homes must apply for an authorisation to deprive someone of their liberty where this is necessary to deliver treatment or care and the circumstances would not warrant a detention under the Mental Health Act 1983.

All referrals to the IMCA Service must come through the appropriate Supervisory Body. In the case of Care Homes, this will be the Local Authority, in the case of Hospitals this will be the responsible NHS Body.

For the avoidance of doubt, Hospitals and Care Homes cannot make referrals directly to the IMCA Service for DoLS support, but must approach the Supervisory Body in the first instance. The Supervisory Body to be approached is the one in which the person will be located at the time of the proposed deprivation of liberty.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Supervisory Bodies have established single contact numbers and Hospitals and Care Homes can contact them on the numbers below:

Staffordshire Supervisory Body: 01785 895665

Stoke-on-Trent Supervisory Body: 0300 123 1461


As the decision-maker for someone we have recently been working with, we would like to ask you what you think of the Asist IMCA service. It is important that we know what you think about us so that we can improve how we work with the person referred, with decision-makers and others involved in their care and support.
Please follow this link to fill in a survey

Paid Representative

Asist provides a commissioned Paid Representative Service for Staffordshire and Stoke Supervisory Body.  

If the relevant person is located within or just outside Staffordshire and requires Paid Representation for an authorised deprivation, Asist may be able to undertake the role on behalf of other Local Authorities. If you would like to speak to someone about the charges for Asist undertaking this work please contact Jo Swinswood on:

01782 845584 or email her at

Information about RPR Role