Support for NHS and social care staff: How to check if a Covid-19 patient has an attorney or deputy

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of the Public Guardian report that there have been many urgent requests to search the database in respect of people who have lost mental capacity.

The OPG holds a register of everyone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney (LPA and EPA), or who has a deputy acting for them,. This register can be searched to find the contact details of those involved.

In its recent update, published on 5 February 2021, the OPG explains that it has a process specifically for patients incapacitated by Covid-19. You can find out more about the OPG’s process here.

In short, you will need to email your request to OPGurgent@publicguardian.gov.uk using the email template provided on its webpage. It asks that the following information is provided:

  • the subject line: ‘COVID-19’, or ‘COVID-19 vaccination’ for vaccination requests
  • the details of the patient
  • your email signature, including your job title and team (the email must be sent from an official email address, for example @nhs.uk or @gov.uk. They cannot accept requests from personal email addresses)

The OPG aims to respond to requests within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. Requests made over the weekend will be dealt with on Monday as a priority.

As for requests that are not for coronavirus patients, they will be dealt with in the standard process. This is five working days.

This process applies to Wales and England only and separate guidance applies to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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