Court of Protection

Justice written question – answered on 13th December 2010.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints the Court of Protection has (a) received and (b) resolved in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Prior to the commencement of the Mental Capacity Act on 1 October 2007, the Public Guardianship Office (PGO) acted as the administrative arm of the then Court of Protection (CoP) and the two functioned as a combined entity.

On 1 October 2007 the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and a new Court of Protection were created and the OPG initially provided administrative support to the Court.

On 1 April 2009 the CoP administration transferred to Her Majesty's Court Service and from that date complaints relating to the Court have been handled independently from the OPG.

Records of complaints received are available from December 2001 and are as follows:

Complaints
Period PGO/CoP OPG CoP
3 December 2001 to 31 March 2002 460 - -
1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003 1,807 - -
1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 577 - -
1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 591 - -
1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 437 - -
1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 712 - -
1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 - 918 358
1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 1,969 890
1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 1,827 563
1 April 2010 to 30 November 2010 (1)4,389 237
(1) In this period the OPG changed its complaints process and improved the mechanisms by which complaints were recorded. In addition there was also a significant increase in volumes of work during this period and a large majority of the complaints related to delays caused by the resultant backlog.

Notes:

1. Between 3 December 2001 and 30 November 2010, 129 complaints were referred onwards from the OPG to either the Adjudicator's Office or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to consider further due to the complainant being dissatisfied with the outcome. Of these, 30 were not upheld, 30 were partially upheld, two were upheld, one was withdrawn and six are still ongoing. Records of the other referrals are unavailable

2. For Court of Protection complaints approximately 25% are related to judicial decisions or to fees which cannot be dealt with by the Court itself.

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