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The Best Foundation has received the below letter from the Office of the Public Guardian notifying us of upcoming changes to the Property and Finance and Health and Welfare deputy standards.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide you with advance notice of changes that Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) are making to the existing Property and Finance and Health and Welfare deputy standards.

There are standards in place to help professional and public authority deputies understand their responsibilities and what’s expected of them. In February, a single set of refreshed standards will be published and will apply to everyone who has been appointed as a deputy, this will include lay deputies. We will write to all deputies next week to alert them to the publication of the refreshed standards and thought it would be useful for you to be aware ahead of these communications being sent.

What’s changing?

The standards set out what is expected of deputies. They will be familiar to those who are already deputies and will provide a single guide to support deputies in the future. The standards will be published in mid-February and are intended to help set out what’s expected in the different aspects of a deputy’s role, and make it easier for deputies to understand what they need to do.

We have been working to make sure that the standards are clear, assessable and applicable to all deputies. In developing this work, we have liaised with a number of deputy groups who have helped shape the final standards and accompanying guidance.

This is not the introduction of a new set of standards. The guiding principles of the refreshed standards remain the same and continue to be aligned with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). The main changes are to make the standards more focused. We have reduced the number of standards from more than 40 to eight core areas, which reflect the duties and responsibilities of all deputies. Much of the material in the original standards has now been re-shaped and included within the guidance documents.

When will the refreshed standards come into effect?

Deputies will be supervised against these standards from the date they are published on our website, which is due to be in mid-February. We will notify you, along with all deputies, when the standards are published and they will be available on GOV.UK under the section, Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity.

Deputies should continue to use the existing annual report forms to provide their annual report. If deputies are due to provide an annual report before this date, then they will continue to produce and submit those reports as they would usually. The refreshed standards come into effect from the date of publication. From that date the decisions deputies take should be informed by these standards, and should be reflected in their future annual reports.

Future plans

We will make future amendments to the annual report, but this won’t happen before publication of the refreshed standards. We will update you on any changes to the annual report in the future. Similarly, we are considering what work needs to be done in relation to our assurance process in the future.

I will write to you again once the refreshed standards and guidance have been published online, but I thought it would be helpful for you to be aware of our plans in advance of wider communications to deputies.

Yours sincerely

Office of the Public Guardian

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