In July 2015, the Office of the Public Guardian issued guidance through which the OPG seeks to ensure that all professional and local authority Deputies are operating to the equally high best practice standards. Many Professional Deputies will already be meeting or exceeding these standards for their clients. However, the assessment and supervision process and the detailed documentation requirements may prompt the Professional Deputy to consider involving community care and education law specialists to demonstrate their best practice commitment to exceeding the standards.
As one of a very small handful of community care and education law specialist firms who offer in-house services and training to Private Client teams, we can complement the work of Professional Deputies and Attorneys. Our services include undertaking annual or other file audits and advising on complex education, health and social care matters. We offer a flexible approach which meets your individual requirements, so that you can demonstrate to the OPG how well you are meeting your clients’ needs. Our services include:
Our initial Professional Deputy audit focuses on Standards 1(a)(4) and 1(a)(6) and will cover a review of the current and historic education, health or social care funding that may be available to your client in addition to their welfare benefits entitlement. It will also highlight any potential challenges to the social services financial assessment process – for example, when your client should benefit from a property disregard, or when their beneficial interest in jointly-owned property has been overvalued. We can also make recommendations about benefits and support for client’s family, in particular when they are caring for your client in the family home.
In addition the matter covered in the initial audit, the full audit will further consider the impact (if any) of the settlement on any means-tested benefits or publicly funded support.
This annual “health check” ensures that you are continuing to secure all potential sources of publicly funded care and benefits support for your client. We will also advise on any issues around transition (for example, from child to adult care and support); matters arising from any changes in your client’s needs; and potential challenges to any changes in your client’s package of care and support instigated by the Local Authority or Clinical Commissioning Group.
We are happy to provide bespoke expert in-house training for your team on a regular or one-off basis, according to your requirements. This could cover for example:
If you are a Professional Deputy or Attorney and require advice and assistance on any community care or education law matter, we can help. Contact us on 01273 609911, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.