Guidance: Being a deputy or attorney during the coronavirus outbreak

Office Of The Public Guardian

September 20
10:45 2021

The government has published the COVID-19 Response - Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 setting out plans for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England. See specific guidance for Wales.

On 16 August the government changed the rules on self-isolation. If youre fully vaccinated or under 18 and 6 months youre not required to self-isolate when youve had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Find out whether you need to self-isolate and how you can protect others if:

If you get any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.Find out more about what to do if you have COVID-19.

During the coronavirus pandemic, your role and responsibilities as a deputy or attorney remain the same. However, you should refer to government guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

I am self isolating what can I do?

If you are self-isolating, over 60 or you have underlying health concerns, you must continue to make decisions for the person. You cannot ask anyone else to make those decisions for you.

However, you can make a decision, then have someone help with any tasks you cannot do yourself.

If you need to make a decision but want to talk to the person first, think about how urgent it is and whether it could be delayed.

Working with the persons health or care providers

Being an attorney or deputy does not mean that you can tell a health or care provider they have to use their resources to help the person.

If the person is due to get medical treatment such as the COVID-19 vaccine, they need to be able to consent to it. If they lack capacity to consent, as attorney or deputy you should make the decision for them if you have the relevant power. The vaccination team should contact you to find out your decision.

You will not have the power to make that decision if you are a property and affairs deputy or an attorney on a property and financial affairs LPA. In that case, the decision about whether the person receives the vaccine is taken by the person administering the vaccination.

If you are a health and welfare deputy or an attorney on a health and welfare LPA, then you will likely be involved in that decision.

DHSC has published guidance on vaccination and mental capacity.

Can I stop acting as an attorney or deputy temporarily?

No, you cannot give up your role temporarily.

If youre an attorney, you can permanently step down from (disclaim) your role. If youre a deputy, you can apply to the court to permanently end your deputyship.

You should think carefully before doing this, as it may leave the person without the support they need.

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 20 September 2021 +show all updates
  1. Updates to English page to reflect guideline changes on 14 September, and to Welsh page to link to new English plan.

  2. Changes made due to 16 August announcement

  3. Updating Welsh translation information to reflect the change to guidance in Wales on 7 August

  4. Large-scale changes to reflect changes to government guidance on 19 July

  5. Update to reflect change to government guidance on 21 June

  6. Added translation

  7. 17 May Roadmap changes

  8. Added translation

  9. changes to welsh version

  10. Changes made due to announcement of roadmap out of lockdown February 2021

  11. Add Welsh translation of the recent English language amendments about vaccinations

  12. Added information about consent and medical treatment such as the COVID-19 vaccination

  13. changes to welsh translation affected by Lockdown 3

  14. Changes due to Lockdown 4

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