Supervision and support from the Office of the Public Guardian

Find out about the role of the Office of the Public Guardian in supervising and supporting deputies.

Supervision

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is there to protect anyone who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Court of Protection and the OPG are essentially the same institution but with different functions. The court makes the decisions about things like deputyship, and the OPG takes care of the administration.

The OPG supervises deputies, provides evidence to the court and offers information to the public. The OPG has a responsibility to check that you are doing everything you should be doing. This involves making sure that you keep to the terms of the deputyship order, and that the decisions you make on behalf of the person follow the Mental Capacity Act and are in the person’s best interests. They can telephone you or visit you to check that you are doing what you should.

There are two different levels of supervision:

General – all new deputies are placed under general supervision in the first year because they may need more support and guidance. If there are concerns about a deputy, they will also be placed under general supervision

Minimal – if the assets of the person with dementia are below a set limit and there are no concerns about the deputy, they will be placed under minimal supervision.

For further information on supervision levels, including the financial threshold, contact the OPG (see ‘Other useful organisations’).

Supervision fees

You must pay a supervision fee every year. The amount will depend upon the type of supervision (see above). The more supervision you require, the higher the fee. There are some exemptions and reductions, as in the case of the application fee.

For more information and current rates contact the OPG (see ‘Other useful organisations’).

Support from the Office of the Public Guardian

As well as protecting the person with dementia, the OPG is also there to support people in their role as a deputy. There are various ways that the OPG can do this – both by telephone and through home visits.

This support is included in the annual supervision fee. To be sure that you are acting within the powers you are given, it can be helpful to ask the OPG any questions you have. Often a quick phone call can resolve any issues and can be a good way of getting support if you are experiencing problems.

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