The OPG releases upgraded Guidelines for All Court-Appointed Deputies

In a bid to ensure all court-appointed deputies perform their duties to the best of their abilities, The Office of Public Guardian has just published a revamped set of standards, including the new presence of guidance to ‘lay deputies’. Deputies are tasked with making decisions on behalf of individuals who have lost the capacity to make such decisions for themselves.

The role of a court-appointed deputy can be filled by anyone over the age of 18 and is often a close relative or friend of the individual in need. In some cases, the Court of Protection may choose a professional deputy, such as a solicitor, accountant or local authority representative, to fulfil the role.

While standards have long been in place to assist professional and public authority deputies in understanding their responsibilities, The OPG reported that their collected feedback suggested these standards were challenging to use and in need of simplification. Additionally, there was a gap in standards for lay deputies.

With the recent review of these standards, they have been made clearer and applicable to all deputies, including lay deputies. The standards, now focused on eight core areas, reflect the duties and responsibilities of all deputies and available to view now, via the website here.

The refreshed standards, while not entirely new, remain guided by the principles of the Mental Capacity Act. The original standards have been re-shaped and included within supporting guidance.

All deputies, professional and lay alike, will now be supervised against these refreshed standards. Deputies are encouraged to use the standards as a checklist to ensure they are considering all relevant areas of their role. If you are a deputy, it is crucial to take the time to understand how these standards apply to you and your role.

PADSN is a free resource to deputyship and appointeeship teams. We provide free training days and advice where possible. You can contact us via email: [email protected] or by telephone: +44(0) 20 7490 4935