At a South West Court of Protection User Group Meeting on 26 June 2023, Her Honour Judge Hilder provided some updates that are relevant nationally:

Working Group

A working group has been set-up by the Court of Protection to look at improving the DoL Streamlined Process (otherwise known as the Community DoL or Re X cases or CoPDoL11 matters) whilst further announcements are awaited about the Liberty Protection Safeguards (“LPS”). 

Court Backlog

  • The backlog of CoPDoL11 applications is reducing fast
  • It is hoped that in the next month or so there should be no backlog on the issuing of CoPDoL11 orders
  • There is a new cohort of Judges for the CoPDoL11 applications. They are dealing with all “new” applications filed since January 2023 whilst the existing cohort of Judges are working through the older cases.

Care Plans

Recognising that due to the Court’s backlog, by the time the CoPDoL11 application is seen by the Judge the Care Plans and other evidence may be out of date, HHJ Hilder confirmed:

  • the Court does not expect to have a fresh whole application
  • the Care Plan(s) has to have been reviewed within the last 12 months from when the Court is considering the application – if the Care Plan(s) is outside of that timeframe, the Court will require more recent Care Plan(s) (that has been reviewed in the preceding 12 months)
  • the Care Plan(s) should state on their face when they were last reviewed and be signed by the relevant person
  • if a substantial amount of time has passed since the application was made, a short witness statement confirming nothing substantive has changed would be appreciated but is not mandatory

Accredited Legal Representatives (“ALR”)

ALRs are usually appointed where (a) P will remain in their current residence; (b) if that residence is a family home; and (c) if there is no restraint in place. Otherwise, it is likely that the Official Solicitor will be invited to act.

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to this article, please contact Hannah Taylor, Partner.

This article was co-written by Imogen Farmer, Solicitor Apprentice.

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