Driving to work this morning, there was a discussion on the Radio 4 Today programme about the Court of Protection (for anyone who wants to listen to the piece again, it was at 0730 on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tpwc1). The piece centred on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding (DoLS). Regular readers of this blog and our Twitter account @CWCoP will know that this is an area where we have a special interest with our Jess Flanagan taking the lead in this important field. The issues discussed on the programme surrounded the case of AJ (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards)  EWCOP 5. AJ was declared to have been deprived of her liberty – but owing to delays in the system, by the time that the Court had made its order, her health had deteriorated to a point where she was unable to return home – despite that being her dearly held wish.
Our friends at 39 Essex Chambers discussed this case in their March newsletter and Victoria Butler-Cole was on Radio 4 this morning discussing the Mental Capacity Act, health and welfare and DoLS. This is an emotive area and one that is in the press a great deal at the moment. Sir James Munby the president of the Family Division is on record stating that ‘systemic failures’ in Court of Protection procedures are creating delays and that an overhaul is needed. There is a lot going on in the Court and we are working hard as a team to keep up to date with the changes and the procedures.
We are also firm advocates of preparing for incapacity. On this morning’s programme Victoria Butler-Cole highlighted that people can prepare Health & Welfare Powers of Attorney which would assist tremendously in these cases.
Here at Clarke Willmott, we have experience in all aspects of the Mental Capacity Act – from assisting people with DoLS, representation in Court and of course – planning ahead – whether for health & welfare or property & finance.