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Public Authority Deputyship responsibilities - Carers UK Forum

Public Authority Deputyship responsibilities

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

Advice please.

A local authority has become a deputy for a relative who was initially 'sectioned' and since, has been diagnosed with dementia, because they say they couldn't locate any next-of-kin.

We've asked for a policy statement relating to 'deputyship' so we can understand what has happened, but keep getting "someone will ring you", and then get a social worker(s) giving their interpretation of what has/may happen in future.

Can anyone please point me to any local authority's policy statement about deputyship.
I want to know what a local authority should do prior to applying, and once they are appointed deputy, what they can do if circumstances change, like finding next of kin. How they intend to manage the finances, income, property & assets. We have no reason to worry about health care, but would like to be kept 'in the loop' as far as finances, and 'family heirlooms' are concerned. I appreciate this sounds quite mercinary, but I'm afraid having been a carer for many years, we are not intending to challenge that part of this situation.

Thank you.
Hi Alan, welcome to the forum. When I read your message, my first thought was that they can't have tried very hard to find a relative!! Surely we all leave enough of a paper trail these days?? Have you looked at the website for the Office of Public Guardian? I think that's the right title, or near enough for Google to find it for you. I had occasion to ring them a few years ago, and they were helpful.
Thank you for your welcome .
I had looked through Public Guardian's website, and unfortunately got distracted by other information, and didn't think to look at Mental Capacity Act 2005 which actually has a good deal of information about deputies. Your prompt sent me there again, and then on to the Act. It doesn't cover, that I've found yet, what LAs should do before applying, nor what happens regarding next of kin later, but a good lot of basic information. Thank you
I was told they'd done 'due dilligence' in repect of relatives, though they didn't check the telephone answer machine, and didn't collect the mail for over 10 months. But care was being given, and 'pressure of work' delaying financial investigations with limited resources seems a reasonable excuse and a sensible prioritisation.
Thanks again.
If they didn't check the answerphone, or redirect the mail, that's negligence!! I find it absolutely incredible that they didn't look at the mail. Doctor's records, passport records, and I think Driving Licences, all ask for next of kin, if my memory serves me properly. If I was in your shoes, I'd be writing about negligence, which is easiest described as a breach of their duty of care. I'd write to the Director of Social Services and ask for full details of the deputyship within seven days. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off by comments about pressure of work or shortage of cash. The authority has a duty of care which cannot be avoided. I now say that it's up to the authority to organise it's resources efficiently and effectively to meet their statutory duties!!!
Hello bowlingbun,

Thanks again, spoke to Office of Public Guardian, who was very helpful and had the time to explain the process and where to check next. Followed the guidance, but couldn't trace court of protection approval ...
So revisited Head of Social Services office, to ask for Deputyship history, and found out the social worker's interpretation of the situation was wrong. The authority has not yet applied to be a deputy!

I don't want to criticise anyone, but all I can say is don't expect anyone to know the whole situation when they only have authority over a part. Specialised advice needs to be confirmed by a specialist for that area. I shouldn't have accepted what had been said as 'gospel'. Well-meaning advice is dangerous.

I'll keep you updated as things occur.

Thanks again for your input bowlingbun.
You can apply for guardianship, there are 2 elements, financial and welfare, you can apply for both or individually. This means that you must be consulted / involved in any decisions that they intend to make for the person. If nobody has guardianship, I think that this is when the local authority take that role.