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Mental health, Court of Protection, and safeguarding

We understand the complexities that organisations face during Court of Protection proceedings. As one of the leading healthcare law practices in the country, our Court of Protection lawyers offer the specialist advice and expertise you require in this intricate area of medical law.

We have a huge breadth of experience in both the private and public sectors and are a trusted advisor to over 100 NHS bodies, 150 local authorities and many independent healthcare providers across the country. Our medical lawyers are committed to providing an exceptional service as standard and can help you achieve the results you require.

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection was set up under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) to assist those who lack capacity to make decisions about their health, welfare, finances or property. This could be for various reasons, such as a brain injury, learning disability or other illness, such as Alzheimer’s.

The Court of Protection has many roles and responsibilities; it may appoint a deputy to make ongoing decisions for a person that lacks capacity, decide whether someone is able to make their own decisions, decide on lasting power of attorney, intervene in medical cases, and make decisions on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

Amid increasing scrutiny from the CQC, the media, and the public, the Court of Protection has never been busier, and it is more important than ever to ensure the Mental Capacity Act is understood and implemented in your organisation. We know from CQC inspections that a strong result on MCA and Deprivation of Liberty is very closely correlated to a good outcome overall.

The issue of Deprivation of Liberty has been hugely active since the Supreme Court judgment in Cheshire West in March 2014 and continues to be so with the forthcoming Liberty Protection Safeguards that in time will be replacing the DoLS legal framework.

How can Browne Jacobson help with the Court of Protection procedure?

Acting for local authorities, NHS bodies, and independent sector providers, our experienced health and social care solicitors have been at the forefront of policy and practice in the Court of Protection since it was established. Our team of Court of Protection lawyers has grown eight-fold in the last two years – giving us the capacity, specialist knowledge and expertise to assist your organisation with all aspects of Court of Protection procedure.

These are some of the services we provide:

  • Representing organisations in Court of Protection proceedings concerning welfare, medical treatment or financial issues and in cases concerning deprivation of liberty.
  • Bringing cases before the Court of Protection concerning serious medical treatment decisions, care planning and/or residence disputes - including disputes about access to treatment options, resources and best interests.
  • Emergency and out of hours applications to court.
  • Extensive training on MCA / DoLS nationwide - including statutory BIA refresher training and subsequent follow up to ensure implementation and cost-effectiveness.
  • Training on the proposed LPS framework.

Why choose Browne Jacobson healthcare solicitors?

Put simply, we are the leading healthcare law firm in the country working with health and social care providers and commissioners in the Court of Protection. We are ranked as leaders in Chambers and Partners, and are led by Rebecca Fitzpatrick who is one of the top listed Court of Protection lawyers nationwide, so you can rest assured that you’re in the best hands when you work with us.

Our dedicated team will provide the specialist healthcare legal advice you need on the Court of Protection procedure to ensure you get the result you require. Get in touch with one of our five regional centres to speak to one of our Court of Protection lawyers.

What we do

  • Extensive training on MCA / DoL nationwide - including statutory BIA refresher training, and subsequent follow up to ensure implementation and demonstrate cost-effectiveness.
  • Drafting or review of MCA / DoL policies and implementation.
  • An audit of MCA / DoL issues, policies, training and practice - across all health and social care bodies in an area, to ensure co-ordination and consistency, and proper implementation.
  • Medical treatment decisions and care planning / residence disputes - including disputes about access to treatment options / resources and best interests.
  • Emergency and out of hours applications to Court.
  • Sharing information and best interests decision making.
  • Advice on LPAs and Deputies, and advance decisions to refuse treatment.
  • Court of Protection and safeguarding / the Inherent Jurisdiction.
  • Advising on the interplay between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act.
  • Children and young people.
  • Guidance and support - through our regional forums for MCA / DOL leads in our offices around the country and delivery of regular case law update webinars, free of charge, viewed by thousands of health and social care professionals.

Featured experience

Cutting edge medical treatment cases

Cutting edge medical treatment cases, including the first Court-authorised male sterilisation and the leading case on withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration in a minimally conscious state.

Complex court of protections proceedings

Complex court of protections proceedings including those relating to deprivations of liberty in children, including Wigan BC v Y (Refusal to Authorise Deprivation of Liberty) [2021] EWHC 1982 (Fam) (14 July 2021) which concerned the deprivation of liberty of a 12-year-old child with mental health issues.

Delivering an innovative pilot scheme for telephone mediation

Developing and delivering an innovative pilot scheme for telephone mediation of Court of Protection disputes for the Office of the Public Guardian. 

‘Re X’

Acting in ‘Re X’ on the streamlined court process, including going to the Court of Appeal, and advising the Ministry of Justice on revised court forms and practice direction.

Testimonials

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