Cases before the Court of Protection have rocketed in the last few years. Reports suggest that the Official Solicitor is currently appointed in around 2,700 cases. There are still limitations on which judges hear cases and delay, cost and uncertainty are a feature of them all.
Vulnerable adults are an increasingly high profile group of people in society. The public and policymakers are becoming more aware of shocking stories about day to day care and treatment.
This group of people need to be treated with respect and dignity. Families need to make choices for their relatives that are taken into account and respected. However, these are often some of the most complex cases that quickly polarise. Family members will not all share the same view of what is in a person’s best interests. There may be conflict between professionals.
The prospect for disputes and high levels of conflict is very high in many cases.
Mediation offers a solution to many cases where there is conflict and discord, not only between family members but also where there is disagreement between professionals themselves and with family members.
Mediation can facilitate solutions even where there is a resource issue to be addressed, and also to help manage disputes for Best Interest decisions.
If only a small proportion of cases can be diverted using mediation, the benefits for the professional agencies, courts, families and most importantly the individuals at the heart of the disputes are tangible. The Deprivation of Liberties Standards, Mental Capacity Act decisions and court proceedings may all have to be considered in these cases.
The decision of the Supreme Court in the case known as 'Cheshire West' made it clear that many more people should be protected by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Using mediation can help resolve matters without the need for expensive, distressing and time consuming court proceedings.
As an experienced practitioner with years of dealing with local authorities, health, the police, families and individuals I have the essential knowledge and expertise to facilitate mediations.
I have a particular expertise in dealing with safeguarding vulnerable adult cases and the Court of Protection.
'The first time I spoke to John I put the phone down thinking I’d just spoken to a friend, not a solicitor that I had never met. Throughout, John communicated to me on my level and was always clear, easy to understand and prepared to explain his reasoning.'MW