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Increase in investigations by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

The OPG – which is responsible for maintaining the register of powers of attorney, providing information and advice to donors and attorneys and supervising court appointed deputies – has seen an increase in the number of investigations it conducts.

These investigations examine the conduct of attorneys and deputies when concerns have been triggered by a safeguarding referral, complaint or through the OPG’s own scrutiny.

25% of investigations result in court action, 59% in no further action and in 16% of cases further support or supervision is provided to get the attorney or deputy back on track.

Whilst the figure has increased from 1871 in 2017/18 to 2883 in 2018/19, investigations account for only 0.07% of all registered powers of attorney and deputyship orders.

In recognition of its increasing work and profi le, the OPG launched a new safeguarding strategy earlier this year with the following goals:
1. Help our safeguarding partners understand more about what we do
2. Work closely with safeguarding partners
3. ‘No wrong door’ approach for all safeguarding concerns
4. Working culture which puts the safeguarding needs of the user first
5. Greater support for our users

They will be researching how the policy is being implemented between 2020 and 2021 and it will be interesting to see whether raised awareness about the role of the OPG will lead to more investigations.

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