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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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Charities asked to provide Court of Protection Deputies

Date:8 AUG 2011

Elderly personThe Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is asking care charities and other not-for-profit organisations whether they think they can better meet the needs of people who lack mental capacity.

In a call for evidence, the OPG is asking organisations for their views on whether they could provide Deputies to protect the interests of people who lack mental capacity.

Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection when there is either a dispute over who should look after their affairs, or they simply have no one else to turn to.

Almost all Deputies are currently lawyers, although the work is not always of a legal nature. For example, a property and affairs Deputy may just need to ensure that financial needs are identified, bills are paid, and look after day to day living expenses. Many of these people would benefit from the value for money represented by organisations run on a not-for-profit basis.

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."