Opinion

Consider CoP orders where there are concerns over care

30th May 2019

Consider CoP orders where there are concerns over care

Recent press coverage has condemned the treatment of children and young adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues and autism following a report issued by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC report which focussed on 62 UK care providers identified issues including patients being placed in hospitals miles away from home, patients spending years in hospital separated from others and patients at risk of being stuck in segregation as part of ‘treatment’ regimes.

The report and subsequent press coverage of its findings has heightened the concerns of many parents and carers whose children require support from what the CQC described as a ‘broken care system’.

“Parents and carers of children and young people with learning disabilities and autism often feel a lack of control when it comes to their care and treatment,” comments Annabel Kay, a solicitor who specialises in care and capacity issues.

“When children are vulnerable and lack capacity to take care of themselves, parents can find themselves in an increasingly difficult position as they try to ensure they have a say in their child’s welfare when dealing with those who provide care or treatment regimes.”

Annabel, an Associate in the Private Client team at West Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons, wants to encourage parents of children with learning disabilities to look at ways of protecting the role they play in their children’s lives.

She said: “Parents and carers can feel disempowered in terms of making decisions for their children. They find it difficult to challenge decisions that are being made based on care and treatment regimes and as a result they feel they have no control over what happens to their children - even where they have genuine concerns over their welfare and safety.

“Although it may sound like an extreme step, a Court of Protection Order can help parents to have a say in the care and treatment that their sons and daughters are receiving.

“The Court of Protection is able to issue two types of deputyship order: one relates to property and financial affairs, the other, which is more relevant here, is to appoint a deputy to make decisions in relation to health and welfare. In both cases it must be the case that the client is not in a position to make such decisions for themselves.”

Annabel has supported many families where parents were concerned that decision making with regard to their vulnerable children was being taken out of their hands.

“This latest CQC report highlights that the care system that is meant to provide for disabled and vulnerable children and adults faces major challenges.

“I would encourage parents who do have concerns about the level of care and treatment that their children are receiving, to talk to us about having an application made to the Court of Protection.

“A CoP order cannot solve all the problems a family may be facing but it does give parents and carers some standing to challenge those decisions that they have genuine concerns about.”

Higgs & Sons is one of the Midlands' leading law firms and is headquartered at the Waterfront Business Park in the heart of the Black Country. Its Private Client team is one of the largest of its kind in the region.

For further details contact 0345 111 5050 or email, Annabel directly:  Annabel.kay@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

Other news

Contact us

3 Waterfront Business Park
Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Email: law@higgsandsons.co.uk
Call Us: 0345 111 5050

Follow @HiggsandSons on Twitter  Join Higgs & Sons on Facebook  Join Higgs & Sons on LinkedIn

Newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest here.