As the vaccination programme continues apace, now is a good time to remind people that the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in England holds a register of everyone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney (LPA and EPA), or who has a deputy acting for them. This can be searched to find the contact details of those involved. The OPG has developed a specific procedure for NHS and social care staff to deal quickly with requests relating to those with COVID-19 (for instance hospital patients or those where vaccination decisions are under consideration). I reproduce the relevant procedure from the OPG website.
Please email OPGurgent@publicguardian.gov.uk using the email template below. Please include:
- the subject line: ‘COVID-19’, or ‘COVID-19 vaccination’ for vaccination requests
- the details of the patient
- your email signature, including your job title and team
It must be sent from an official email address, for example @nhs.uk or @gov.uk. We cannot accept requests from personal email addresses.
We aim to respond to requests within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. Requests made over the weekend will be dealt with on Monday as a priority.
Requests that are not for coronavirus patients will be dealt with in the standard process. This is 5 working days.
You will be told whether an LPA, EPA or deputyship court order is in place.
Where one is in place, you will be told:
- if it is for health and welfare (some relate only to property and finances)
- the date it was registered (LPA or EPA) or the date of the court order
- names and contact details of attorneys or deputies
- if there are restrictions on the powers of the attorney or the court order
- if an attorney has authority over life-sustaining treatment for the donor
- where there are multiple attorneys or deputies, how they are appointed to act
- if the LPA, EPA or deputyship has been cancelled, revoked or expired
- the expiry date of any court order
For details of how to obtain details of attorneys in Scotland, see this page on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland.