Office Of The Public Guardian Investigations – Why They Are Carried Out & How To Respond

Review Of NHS Performance

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is responsible for safeguarding people who have a Court appointed Deputy or Attorney looking after their affairs. They can investigate when a concern is reported to them when their criteria is met.

This is confirmed on the OPG’s website and is summarised here:

  • There are sufficient details to confirm the person at risk has a registered power of attorney or deputyship order,
  • The concern relates to the powers the attorney/deputy holds under their registered power,
  • The concern is against the attorney/deputy’s behaviour, not that of a third party,
  • The concern occurred whilst the attorney or deputy was acting in their capacity as attorney/deputy for the person at risk,
  • The concern raiser believes that the person at risk did not have the capacity to make the decision at the time it was made and/or believes that the person at risk was coerced.

During investigations, the OPG can alert other agencies if they feel they need to be involved, this can include Social Services and the Police.

In most cases, the OPG will:

  • Ask a Court visitor to assess the Donor’s capacity and ask the Donor about the concerns that have been raised.
  • Ask the Deputy or Attorney about the concerns – this is usually via an OPG5 form which requests various information such as bank statements, receipts, etc.
  • Ask Social Services for information they have about the person’s mental capacity, finances, care, and whether a safeguarding report has been made to them.

Responding to OPG investigations

If you have received a letter from the OPG informing you of an investigation and you don’t know how to respond it is important that you:

  1. Cooperate with the OPG – Make sure you provide them with all the information they have requested by the deadline they set. If you cannot do this, contact them to explain why. It is important that you take the investigation seriously.
  2. Keep clear records – As a Deputy/Attorney, you should be keeping records of the decisions you are making and the financial transactions you are making on the donor’s behalf. Make sure you keep records of all the bank statements, receipts, and gifts made on behalf of the donor.
  3. Try not to panic – Just because the OPG are investigating you, does not mean that you have done anything wrong. 72% of OPG investigations result in no further action being required. (Office of the Public Guardian – Annual Report and Accounts 2021-2022).


Completing the OPG5 form is the first chance you will have to explain how you have been managing the Donors property and finances/and or health and welfare. It is essential that it is an actual reflection of how you have been acting.

How can we help?OPG Investigations

Tanya Kirman is a Paralegal in our expert Court of Protection team. Tanya specialises in all aspects of Court of Protection work, including management of property and financial affairs under the authority of deputy and attorney appointments.

If you are concerned about an OPG investigation, please contact Tanya or another member of our team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form. We can provide you with advice and assistance through the entire process.

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