People First Independent Advocacy would like to remind you that advocacy services are here and ready to support teams who are facing difficult decisions for patients during the coronavirus crisis.

People’s legal and human rights need to be upheld now more than ever and we want to safeguard against any discrimination or unlawful practice where we can.

We have a legal duty to provide Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA). We are able to respond to urgent referrals and have advocates available on the same day if necessary. We are adapting our advocacy support so we can maintain public safety. Face to face work will be carried out where necessary for exceptional circumstances.

Our advocates are here to support and represent the person through decision-making processes ensuring the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 is followed. We gather, review and present information to help care providers make Best Interest decisions safeguarding people’s rights.

Even under Coronavirus legislation there is still a duty to refer for an IMCA when patients lacks mental capacity to make a decision and has no one “appropriate to consult” with who is independent from their care and treatment and:


  • The person is aged 16 or over
  • The decision is about either a long-term change in accommodation, or serious medical treatment* including DNACPR orders
  • or safeguarding or for people who are being assessed as to whether they are currently being, or should be deprived of their liberty (referrals made via your local DoLS team)
  • AND the decision can not be delayed to a time when the person may have regained capacity


To make an advocacy referral in Cumbria, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough please visit or call us on 03003 038 037 for information and guidance.

To make an advocacy referral in Darlington please email or call 01325 48999

To make an advocacy referral in Hartlepool please email the Hartlepool Advocacy Hub or call  07522 866 080


Thank you.


*Serious Medical Treatment is defined in the MCA as: “giving new treatment, stopping treatment that has already started or withholding treatment that could be offered in circumstances where there is a fine balance between the likely benefits and the burdens to the patient and the risks involved; where a decision between a choice of treatments is finely balanced, or what is proposed is likely to have serious consequences for the patient.”