Changes to OPG supervision levels
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has changed its way of supervising deputies following a consultation carried out last year.
The old system of supervision (classifying each case with either type 1, 2A, 2 or 3 level supervision) has been replaced with ‘General‘ and ‘Minimal‘ supervision levels. Supervision and support is now to be provided by dedicated teams at the OPG, organised by deputy type.
A review was carried out by the OPG following concerns raised over the standards of supervision and support for deputies provided by the OPG and a steady increase in caseloads. The review aimed to generate a responsive, case sensitive approach to supervision, with effective and proportionate oversight, in order to ensure that the person lacking capacity is protected and their needs met.
Ian Potter, partner at Wrigleys and OPG Panel Deputy comments “The OPG found that action was required to put the person lacking capacity at the centre of all that they do. The review found that the old type 1, 2A, 2 or 3 system focused too much on risk and supervision of deputies, rather than providing support.”
The new model now categorises each deputy dependent on whether they are:
- Lay Deputies
- Local Authority Deputies
- Professional & Panel Deputies
- Health & Welfare Deputies.
Each category has its own specialist team at the OPG who will provide support and supervision. The specialist teams will remain with the deputies from start to finish, and provide end to end case management. This is different from the previous model where teams were organised by task and deputies were passed back and forth between different teams. It is hoped that this will allow greater support as the teams at the OPG can get to understand their category, and the challenges the deputies face in much greater detail.
Each deputy will now be assigned a supervision level of ‘General’ or Minimal’. Most deputies will fall into the General category and will be required to provide annual reports and have a greater level of interaction with the OPG. Property and affairs deputies managing less than £21,000 are likely to be given a Minimal supervision level. They may not have to complete annual reports and will pay a lower annual supervision fee.
The fee the OPG charges for assessing supervision levels remains at £100. Deputies under a General supervision level will pay an annual supervision fee of £320 and those under a Minimal supervision level will pay £35 per year. These fees remain payable from the estate of the person who lacks capacity.