Office of the Public Guardian

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 19th July 2011.

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Photo of Duncan Hames Duncan Hames Liberal Democrat, Chippenham 11:00 am, 19th July 2011

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising this serious issue. People often feel completely helpless in these situations, especially when a deputy is imposed on them. I do not know whether he knows this, but a constituent of mine—I will call him “Mr Able”—used to have his deputy visited on an almost annual basis by the authorities about 12 years ago. In the period between 2003 and 2006, however, there was a cosy consensus between the Office of the Public Guardian and the solicitors appointed to act as Mr Able’s deputy that there would be no such visits, because they did not find them fruitful. And yet throughout that period, there was no action in response to Mr Able’s demands to have his deputy discharged. Surely there needs to be regular oversight of deputies whose role is being challenged by those whom they are supposed to be caring for?