The court had to consider the question of whether the property and affairs deputy was an ‘authorised person’ in respect of the P within the meaning of s32 of the Care Act 2014. The court concluded he was not.
Daniel Lumb of Stonegate Law was appointed as property and affairs deputy for the P in 2019. The P's brother in law DB receives a direct payment from the applicant local authority for the P’s care and support needs. DB uses this direct payment to fund a package of care provided by the P’s siblings. The question of whether Mr Lumb is an ‘authorised person’ in respect of the P within the meaning of s32 of the Care Act is of practical significance because of s32(5), which provides that if there is a person authorised under the Mental Capacity Act, no other authorised person may seek direct payments without that person’s support. So, if Mr Lumb is the ‘authorised person’ for the purposes of s32(4)(a), DB would not be able to request and manage direct payments for the P without Mr Lumb’s support. It would be entirely Mr Lumb’s decision as to whether DB continued to receive the P’s direct payment, and he could terminate the arrangement if he saw fit. On the other hand, if Mr Lumb is not authorised ‘to make decisions about the adult’s needs for care and support,’ then decisions about direct payment arrangements rests with the local authority to determine whether the person seeking direct payments was a ‘suitable person’ who would act in the adult’s best interests in arranging care and support and is capable of doing so, per s32(4)(c)and s32(7).
The Court of Protection concluded that the authority granted to Mr Lumb in the deputyship order made in 2019 does not include authority to make decisions about the P’s needs for care and support within the meaning of section 32(4)(a) of The Care Act 2014.
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