Personal Welfare deputyship applications: I have a... - Mencap

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Personal Welfare deputyship applications

Pogul44
Pogul44

I have a brother in his 50's who has severe learning disabilities, lacks capacity and lives in a small residential care home for people with learning disabilities. The past few years have been a headache due to problems with the care he has received at two separate care homes in two different local authorities.

Our father and I would like to apply for the Personal Welfare deputyship to ensure that we have input. Dad already has the Property and Financial Affairs deputyship.

I know this deputyship is supposed to be difficult to obtain and a challenge in the High Court about whether the Court of Protection has interpreted the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice correctly did not succeed as many had hoped.

If any of you have made an application for this deputyship it would be useful to know what reasons you gave for both successful and unsuccessful applications.

Thanks for any info.

6 Replies
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I can do this ...! > SA <

I can't give any advice, but have downloaded the forms to become a Deputy for my son and will be interested in the replies you receive. Hope you get the help and outcome that you want :)

Pogul44
Pogul44
in reply to SamCJ66

Hi SamCJ66,

I came across a couple of posts on other threads on this subject where people mentioned they were going to be making an application but did not post how they got on although it varied between 2 years and 11 months ago. If I receive any replies from them I will post them on this thread too. Fingers crossed X.

Hi Pogul44

In 2013 my partner sucessfully applied for both Deputyships for her son Jack. The circumstances were a bit different; Jack was born with athetoid cerebral palsy, microcephaly, global developmental delay etc, and he was later certified as lacking capacity. With Jack approaching 18, his mum had a 100% success rate of appealing against Local Authority (LA) decisions regarding Jack's education that she felt were not in his best interests, over many years. She felt that, reaching adulthood, the LA may have even less regard for her views than it had had previously, and so wanted the 'weight' of being his Deputy alongside being his Mother to get the right outcomes for her boy.

She argued that, far from the Court Of Protection (COP) view that issues and decisions regarding individuals lacking capacity are 'one-off', in her experience it had been more a process of continuous discussion and negotiation with the LA over many years, in fact since Jack was 2. She forecast that there would need to be multiple court appearances to return for decisions and that since the LA worked to tight timescales, this might predjudice a proper consideration of all the evidence being given.

So we put in all the paperwork for both Deputyships, I have to confess that at that time I was unaware of this alleged difficulty in obtaining the Personal Welfare Deputyship. The matter was considered by the COP and the judge came back with a lengthy request for a Personal Statement from Jack's Mum addressing a number of issues and previous cases. We did the personal statement and addressed the issues of:

1 Pressing decisions that needed to be made for Jack

2 Why a court order appointing her as Jack's Deputy was necessary

3 Why it is that it may be necessary to return to COP in the future, for multiple decisions regarding Jack if no Deputy was appointed

4 There were various sections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 that the judge ordered should be addressed, which we did

5 The Code of Practice Chapter 8 requires Deputies to show that they have the necessary skills to carry out the role, and that they want to do it, and again these issues were addressed

6 Finally there was a one specific case in law mentioned by the judge which we were able to show was not relevant in Jack's case

The result was that the COP did grant both Deputyships to my partner in March 2014.

Tragically, in October 2015 Jack's mum died suddenly. She had fortuitously nominated me to take on the Deputy role, in the original application, should she no longer be able to do it, so I put in place two Deputy Applications in my own name. These were granted in April 2016; it was much easier second time round!

I think the key issues for you would be

a What issues are looming that require decisions on behalf of your brother

b Why you and your dad would be best placed to take decisions on behalf of your brother rather than decisions being taken by COP

c showing its a continuous process of decision making rather than just one or two key issues needing to be addressed

Good luck!

JacksDad

Pogul44
Pogul44
in reply to JacksDad

Hi JacksDad

Thank you so much for such an extensive reply and for sharing such personal information. I am sorry to hear the news of your wife. She sounds like an amazing and determined lady.

My brother lived at home until our mother passed away in 2004. She was his main carer up to that point.

He moved into a small, family run care home where he had received respite care for many years so we already had a relationship with them and knew he was in good hands.

The home was then transferred into a larger, locally run organisation but it continued to be managed by the same team for about 5 years until the new service decided to make changes which caused disruption and much stress within the house. This lead to a well-run team of 25 years being demoralised and broken down, and the levels of deterioration in care soon followed. CQC and social services became involved in our complaints.

Long story short, we moved my brother to a new care home nearer to where family had relocated. All was well for the first 6 months until the long-term manager left. Reduction in quality of care, behavioural problems, and pursuit of resolution lead to a disciplinary case against the new manager which was upheld. Social Services and CQC were again involved as was psychiatry due to my brother's behavioural problems caused by the care issues. The care service installed a new manager from within their team who had good credentials but we've uncovered some H&S issues with my brother's car they are responsible for, and although we had been reassured all therapists and external workers had undergone relevant checks we discovered accidentally one had not. We only came across this as we found they were paying for this therapist using my brothers' money but they had not consulted my dad who is his financial deputy.

We keep discovering issues without actually looking for them and this is why we want deputyship. We are not kept properly informed of appointments and results. Actions the GP should have taken have not been actioned or we have not received feedback. There have been dental problems too that have not been attended to satisfactorily. The care service have not been open and transparent. Promised resolutions do not materialise. Communication was and continues to be poor, causing much stress during Lockdown.

We employed a solicitor with relevant experience to prepare our deputyship applications and help us implement some future safeguarding measures. She recommended we wait for the result of a high profile court case challenging CoP decision making on the Personal Welfare deputyship, then we had to wait for the report from the care home on the outcome of the disciplinary case. She was supposed to help us prepare for a round-robin meeting with the care service, Social Services and CQC but she didn't. We have decided she has not actually been helpful since last July so we will pursue this ourselves.

My brother also has various health issues that are currently being managed and given his age he may need more attention to ensure continued health. He also has a heart condition so his oral hygiene is really important but this has been problematic at this care home.

It might be useful to know what the specific case in law was that the judge questioned you on but not to worry if you're unable to give it.

I feel we do have a good case. We've had continued problems and I have documented everything as well as the social Services and CQC involvement. I just hope I can pull it all together in an effective way. Fingers crossed.

Thanks again for all your help. It is most useful.

Best regards,

Pogul44

HolisticMum
HolisticMum
in reply to Pogul44

My goodness you are having such a terrible time trying to get the right care for your brother. I have two sons with special needs and I am scared every day of their lives that they will have to rely on those awful services. I have known elderly people in residential homes that have had drastic moves or the care homes closes. Their money isn't spent on them also. It's a minefield.

Our family members should have a fabulous life and I so wish I had the means and capacity to wave a wand and make it all good for everyone of them with therapies etc. They deserve a loving, caring environment. I loathe it when they say about behavioural issues too. If we wasn't satisfied with the way things were, we would all be classed as having them.

I really feel for you and wish you the best of luck.

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