OPG Safeguarding Role of the Office of The Public Guardian

OPG safeguarding role for adults at risk.

The OPG safeguarding role for people who lack mental capacity includes working to prevent abuse including:

  • making people aware of legal safeguards such as lasting powers of attorney and the services of OPG and the Court of Protection. The OPG promotes safeguarding through talks, training, presentations, publicity and work with our key stakeholders and partners
  • supervising deputies appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.
  • developing and reviewing strategies and policies about protecting OPG clients, both within the Ministry of Justice and in partnership with other government departments and external partners.
  • making sure systems are in place to prevent or reduce the possibility of a member of OPG staff abusing an adult at risk.
  • working with other agencies, including adult social services and the police.

The ways the OPG investigate reports of abuse include:

  • receiving reports that an adult at risk is being abused (‘whistleblowing.’)
  • answering requests to search the register of deputies and attorneys (free of charge).
  • investigating concerns about the actions of a deputy or registered attorney, or someone acting under a single order from the Court of Protection.
  • working in partnership with other agencies, including adult social services and the police, including taking part in meetings and case conferences.
  • taking part in joint investigations of suspected abuse.

The ways the OPG  work to safeguard clients include:

  • applying to the Court of Protection to suspend, discharge or replace a deputy and to cancel or revoke an EPA or LPA.
  • providing reports to the Court of Protection under Sections 49 and 58 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, to help the court make informed decisions.
  • reviewing our client files and visiting clients where we know abuse has happened in the past or if we feel there’s a risk abuse might happen.

The 3 roles of the OPG in safeguarding:

  1. Prevention
  • Promote and raise awareness of legal safeguards and remedies.
  • Supervise deputies.
  • Contribute to mental capacity policy.
  • Work with partner agencies to take appropriate safeguarding action.

2. Investigation

  • Responding to allegations of abuse.
  • Investigate concerns about the actions of deputies and attorneys.

3. Remedy

  • Make applications to the Court of Protection.
  • Monitor liaison and joint working with other agencies.

Next Article – The Office of The Public Guardians statutory role and what it is allowed to investigate…