Tags – Protecting Vulnerable Individuals After Covid Lockdown
Whilst we start to emerge from full-on Covid lockdown, there will still be a very slow progression back to normality in society.
Moreover, the Government’s guidelines suggest that the road map outlined on 22nd February details the very earliest dates each stage will progress to the next.
As such, safety and social distancing will stay firmly at the forefront of all practices involving the legal protection of the vulnerable.
Court of Protection
With regard to the Court of Protection, the official guidance implemented mid 2020 remains in place.
Whilst the vice president of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden laid down guidelines in order to maintain the necessary legal protection of those deemed vulnerable, he also ensure the safety of everyone involved. For example, systems put in place to dispense with the need to meet face to face wherever possible, are comprehensive.
Minimal Face to Face Hearings
The guidelines determine that unless there is a genuine urgent need, there will be no hearings held at which people need to be present.
As such, face to face arrangements will only be made if it’s impossible to conduct a hearing remotely.
Remote Lines of Communication
Flexibility is the order of the day.
Therefore, all proposals in how best to hold hearings include many various digital methods of communication. For example, hearings can be dealt with via email exchange or the court’s video-link system.
Equally, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and similar remote digital tools are all available lines of communication.
Additionally, wherever possible, the system allows for electronic signatures to be accepted.
Best Interest of the Vulnerable
The importance placed on the protection of vulnerable individuals post lockdown will remain as it was during the pandemic and equally, beforehand.
By introducing remote lines of communication and adapting to the pandemic restrictions, the Court of Protection has pivoted in the ways in which it works.
Consequently, deputies are working with the Court to continue to protect those under their protection.
Furthermore, working with families, healthcare professionals and care homes may be different from pre-Covid times but the remit remains the same. For example, making a decision on whether or not someone should have a Covid vaccination is made with their best interests in mind.
Equally, working with care homes to reintroduce visitors for the benefit of the vulnerable is absolutely key.