The Court of Protection: a Brief Introduction
What is it?
The Court of Protection is a specialist Court established under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to determine issues relating to individuals who lack capacity to make specific decisions.
The Court of Protection has the power to make decisions concerning personal welfare and healthcare, as well as property and financial affairs.
When could you be involved in the Court of Protection?
One or more of your service users may be the subject of Court of Protection proceedings. As a care provider, your involvement in Court of Protection cases may be formal, or informal varying from the following non-exhaustive list of issues:
- Application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Code of Practice
- Capacity assessments and best interests decisions
- Disclosure requests
- Assessments to ascertain whether identified care needs can be met
- Attendance at Round Table Meetings
- Facilitating visits by advocates and Litigation Friends (whether in person or remotely)
- Deprivations of liberty
- Discharge and conveyance plans
- Behavioural Contracts
Court of Protection proceedings have the best interests of the individual subject to the proceedings at its core.
Initial involvement by care providers will likely be with a view to assisting the court and parties with information gathering. Ensuring notes and assessments (in particular capacity assessments and best interests decisions evidencing proper application of the MCA and Code of Practice) are sufficiently detailed, clear, contemporaneous and easily accessible is key to being able to comply with requests in a timely manner.
Court of Protection proceedings are subject to what are known as Transparency Orders, prohibiting information from being disclosed to the public, such as the name of the individual, their family members or witnesses requiring care and consideration.
Please get in touch if you would like further information or to arrange bespoke training.
Rachael Hawkin, Solicitor