OPG's call for evidence on DeputiesThursday, 4 August 2011
Care charities and other not-for-profit organisations are being asked whether they think they can provide 'deputyship' services for people lacking mental capacity.
In a call for evidence published today, the Office of the Public Guardian is asking these organisations for their views on whether they could provide ‘deputies’ to protect the interests of people who lack mental capacity through illness or after an accident.
Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection to help make decisions and manage the affairs of people who don't have capacity to do so themselves.
Deputyship services are currently provided by a mixture of local authorities, friends and relations of the person lacking capacity, legal professionals and a very small number of not-for-profit organisations.
The Public Guardian, Martin John, said: 'Deputies play a very important role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
'Quite often it may be appropriate for a legally qualified deputy to be appointed. But charities and other third sector organisations potentially have a huge amount to offer in this area. They bring with them a unique perspective based on many years working closely with users and a deep understanding of the issues that they face.
'This call for evidence will ensure that we can understand in detail how best charities might be able to contribute in this area and how the OPG might be able to support them better in becoming more actively involved as deputies.'