Revocation of the financial Deputy’s responsibility in a case concerning deprivation of liberty and care arrangements- is this fair?

Temperley Taylor are considering appealing a Court of Protection ruling that revoked the financial Deputy’s responsibility to act on behalf of the Protected Party in a case concerning deprivation of liberty and care arrangements.

In Mrs P v Rochdale Borough Council and NHS North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups [2016] EWCOP B1, District Judge Ranj Matharu made a judgment stating that the firm was not acting in the Protected Party’s best interests and criticised the “brutal and insensitive” comments made in relation to the Protected Party’s requests.

The background of the case was explained to the court and the court was informed that the Protected Party lacked capacity to make decisions regarding where she resided. Despite her care being fully funded by the local Clinical Commissioning group, the Protected Party had a number of underlying ‘challenging behaviours’  throughout her time in care. The Protected Party had a substantial level of money and therefore it was found that her standard and quality living arrangements could be improved by using those funds.

An application had been made for the Managing Partner of Temperley Taylor to be appointed as Deputy in respect of the Protected Party’s financial and property affairs, an Order was made in March of this year as she had been a “long standing client and the firm held her will”.

A number of requests were made with regards to the reappraisal of the Protected Party’s needs and funds were requested to improve her diet and purchase new clothes. She had made it clear that she had specific dietary requirements and her only enjoyment in life came from the company of her dog, who had been re-homed. “Being in the presence of other dogs made her “face light up” and it was evidential that this improved the quality of life.” The court found that these factors were not addressed following a number of assessments of her care plan.

DJ Matharu highlighted his suspicion and curiosity in relation to the Protected Party’s finances. The Protected Party’s account held a nil balance, when a year previously it was recorded that she had £7,000.00, yet there was little evidence that these funds were provided to purchase more varied food and clothing. DJ Matharu further said that this financial information was “troubling” and an understatement if that.”

The delay in establishing Mrs P’s financial position is inexplicable,’ the judgment stated. ‘In fact, it is entirely unclear on what basis they consider the steps they have taken to be in her interests. Their sole focus should and can only be Mrs P, yet they appear to be working against the litigation friend and not with them.’

Temperley Taylor highlighted their opinion in an email to Switalskis that it “would seem irresponsible in the extreme to suggest that a dogs visits a care home for elderly and frail people”.

Thereafter the Order was revoked, as the Court was satisfied that Temperley Taylor were not acting in the Protected Party’s best interests.

The firm has stated that they are “actively considering an appeal against the judgment.”

If you have any queries or general questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we would be more than happy to assist you. Please contact CopCosts@clarionsolicitors.com or call 0113 246 0622.

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