Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

04th January 2021

What can we do if a relative with Power of Attorney is refusing treatment?

What can we do as a care provider if a relative with power of attorney is refusing treatment? The resident is quite poorly with suspected sepsis and is not taking any medication or drinking. The family are worried that due to high temperature and blood pressure the resident will be put in a COVID-19 ward and want her to remain in the care home .

Dear L

Thank you for your question. I had a similar query in 2017 and it is a challenging question. My response then which you can read here is the same. The attorney of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for health and welfare does have the power to consent to, or refuse, any welfare or health intervention - but they must be acting in the person’s best interests and in making best interests decisions, they are bound to have regard to the Mental Capacity Act code of practice just as paid professionals and care staff must. Anyone who thinks the attorney is not acting in the person’s best interests must notify the Office of the Public Guardian, who, after investigation, may apply to the Court of Protection to have the powers removed from that attorney. Where appropriate, the worried person would also raise a safeguarding enquiry. Given that your resident is probably very unwell, I would also speak to social services asap for advice.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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