Case Study 2

Concern raised by local authority

Initial concern – key points

  • Adult currently a patient in hospital
  • Adult's daughter appointed as his attorney to deal with his welfare and financial needs
  • Local authority subsequently granted welfare guardianship as attorney was unable to exert her welfare powers on her father effectively and to his benefit
  • Guardianship powers have since expired with no renewal
  • Attorney did not provide clothing or personal allowance for her father whilst a patient in hospital despite numerous requests from hospital authorities
  • Adult owns heritable property

Parties contacted

  • Adult’s GP
  • Ward manager at hospital
  • Adult's bank
  • Registers of Scotland
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Local authority social work department
  • Adult's attorney

Information ascertained

  • Adult confirmed as being incapable of dealing with his financial affairs
  • Adult has been in hospital for approximately 2 years and as such does not incur any form of care type fees
  • Hospital authorities advised local authority of non-payment of personal allowance or provision of clothing
  • Registers of Scotland confirmed adult owns heritable property
  • Adult's bank confirmed that adult's accounts have all been closed and he currently does not have a bank account
  • Examination of old bank statements confirmed adult in receipt of state pension
  • Subject contacted and asked to provide an accounting which she was unable to do. She indicated that the adult's capital was used to upgrade his home so that he could return when released from hospital. No evidence available to substantiate this.
  • Enquiries with hospital authorities confirmed that it was improbable that adult would ever be able to return home and would remain in hospital for the foreseeable future
  • Powers in welfare guardianship did not include revocation of welfare attorney consequently on expiry of guardianship welfare attorney powers remained in place
  • Subject advised that state pension was being paid into an account in her name
  • Safeguards placed on the adult's income at source and confirmed that local authority had applied for corporate appointee to deal with the adult's income

Our view

The attorney did not appear to be acting in the best interests of the adult in this instance resulting in safeguards being put in place. Local authority is now dealing with the adult's income ensuring that he has a personal allowance available to him.

The attorney resigned her position as financial attorney to her father.

The local authority will now consider what should happen to the heritable property and may require to apply for an intervention order to deal with this.

The adult is now receiving the benefit of his income, consequently the investigation has now concluded.