Rapid register search helps vulnerable people

A new service launched by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), will help local authorities, social care, police and the NHS, help vulnerable people in their communities quickly.

Members of staff from the above organisations can request information from the OPG register to help them to make urgent decisions about someone who may lack mental capacity.

The service went live on Tuesday 30th March, and enables staff to ask the OPG for the following information:

  • If the LPA/EPA or deputyship relates to property and finances or health and welfare decision making
  • Names and contact details of attorneys or deputies
  • LPA/EPA registration date or Court of Protection (COP) court order date
  • If there are any restrictions on the power of attorney or court order
  • Whether an attorney has authority to give or refuse life sustaining treatment on behalf of the individual
  • How multiple attorneys or deputies should act – jointly or severally
  • Whether the LPA, EPA or deputyship is registered, cancelled, revoked or expired
  • The expiry date of court orders, where relevant

According to the OPG’s website –

This service should be accessed only when you need to make an urgent decisionHere are some examples where staff from relevant organisations might need to access this service:  

  • when moving a person out of hospital care to an alternative setting in order to release their bed 
  • when best interest decision on medical treatment is needed for a patient in hospital  
  • to find out if a person’s wishes are detailed in an LPA, for example in relation to receiving life sustaining treatment 
  • for contact details of people who are legally allowed to act on behalf of a person such as an attorney or deputy 
  • If a decision needs to be made about administering the Covid-19 vaccine 
  • To find out if there is an LPA/EPA or deputy in place to assist with financial abuse investigations where there is aadult at risk involved

Gill Steel, Legal Trainer, took to LinkedIn and asked her network:

“Do you think as advisors we should draw to the attention of the client the fact that these agencies have access to this information about them and their powers of attorney or deputyships?”

Ann-Marie Shine-Newton (MSWW), responded:

“I think that clients would be interested and maybe have added security to know that if anyone thought there was a problem with an attorney it could be investigated quickly.”

More information about the service is here.

What are your thoughts on the new offering from the OPG?

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