If you are a Deputy, you may have noticed that the report forms from the Office for the Public Guardian (OPG) are now different. And you may be wondering why these changes have been made.
The OPG has a duty of care towards you as the Deputy and your client. The main reason for the change is to improve safeguards for at risk adults. The new report forms addresses both the Deputy’s needs and their charges’ needs and makes the process much more straightforward.
There is a new section dedicated to safeguarding questions in the property and financial decisions forms. This is to ensure the OPG better supports the Deputies who need it the most while protecting our most vulnerable members of society.
What this all means in practice is that from now on, Deputies will receive specific forms tailored to their Deputyship order.
All Deputies now need to complete either the OPG102 form or the OPG103 form each year. The level of supervision of the Deputyship determines which form needs to be completed.
If the Deputyship supervision level is minimal, the OPG103 should be completed. This is a big change as up until the 1st of March 2016, Deputies with minimal supervision were not required to complete forms every year. However, to make things easier, the OPG will send out the relevant form to you.
So, what’s different?
The OPG102 form now includes safeguarding questions to assess if there are any early indicators as to whether there is any risk to P or any potential neglect. The questions will determine whether P’s capacity has changed or stayed the same; what sort of contact the Deputy has with the client; how care is funded; when the care plan was last reviewed and whether benefits have been reviewed to ensure that P is receiving all benefits he/she is eligible for.
The OPG 103 form sets out the same questions but in an easier format. However it requires details of the actual benefits received and also requests more details about any property P owns. The new forms also seek to find out when independent financial advice was followed to ensure this is taken regularly so that any investments are making the best returns they can for the client.
What does that mean for Deputies?
As a Deputy, you will need to ensure you record when you review things such as: benefits, care plans and independent financial advice on a regular basis. As a specialist provider of professional Deputyship services, we suggest you review benefits at least once a year to ensure your client is receiving everything they are eligible for. We also advise care plans are kept fully up-to-date and that you receive a six month investment review from your financial advisor.
If you need any help or advice about this issue or require assistance with the completion of your report forms to the OPG or any other matter relating to your Deputyship, you can contact our expert Deputyship team on: 0845 160 1111 or email us.