Guidance to assist case managers considering raising a complaint about a deputy or guardian

First steps when dealing with an issue

The case manager should do this informally in the first instance by making the deputy/guardian or deputy’s/guardian’s firm aware that they are unhappy with their service or have concerns about a deputy/guardian. A case manager may be asked to do this on behalf of their client or may feel they have a duty of care to report a deputyship/guardianship service which they feel is not acting in the client’s best interest. Following this informal approach, the deputy or guardian or their firm may make changes to their practice or approach which may be sufficient to resolve the issue.

If this does not resolve matters to the case manager’s satisfaction then the case manager should follow the complaints procedure of the deputy’s or guardian’s firm usually available from their website. Put in writing your complaint and await a reply within their stipulated timescale. This may enable you to resolve your complaint.

If the complaint is not resolved

If this doesn’t resolve matters you can raise a complaint with the Office of the Public Guardian in England/Wales or Scotland where a client’s property or financial affairs seem to be at risk. The Offices of the Public Guardian are government bodies in England/Wales and in Scotland who supervise the actions of deputies/guardians. Both websites have full details on how to raise a complaint/request an investigation where a concern relates to property or financial affairs. Investigations are carried out confidentially but will involve them asking for evidence and speaking to all sides to gather information. They may also visit to aid their investigation.

Should you wish to raise a complaint please visit the following sites:

Changing a deputy/guardian

Should a client wish to raise a complaint themselves they are entitled to request a change of deputy/guardian. In England, this should be completed via the Court of Protection as they are the body responsible for appointing deputies. There are two ways a client can do this:

  1. a client can discuss this with a new deputy and the identified new deputy can apply to the Court of Protection on the client’s behalf; or
  2.  a client can apply directly to the Court of Protection themselves to request a change of deputy, in which case a deputy would be appointed from their panel of deputies.

In Scotland, should a client wish to change a guardian then they should apply to the Sheriff Court. If they have already identified a new guardian they wish to work with, this person can apply on the client’s behalf. Should a client not have a new guardian identified they would be advised to take legal advice on how to approach the Sheriff Court.


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