Power of Attorney – Advocacy and Ombudsman Service

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2018 National Retired Members Conference
15 June 2018

This Conference endorses UNISON’s Retired Members’ policy to promote Powers of Attorney to safeguard older persons’ interests in the event of them becoming unable to handle their own affairs.

When there is a dispute or misunderstanding between the two or more people holding the Power of Attorney or between the Attorney and the donor , the only avenue for possible reconciliation at the moment is the local Social Work Department staff who are under resourced and time poor. Their role is not as arbitrators (arbiters under Scots Law) to issue a decision.

A Power of Attorney Advocate and Ombudsmen Service would be beneficial to protect the rights and dignity of older people. Advocacy could help to restore communication when it breaks down and in the event of the dispute not being resolved an Ombudsmen could then be called upon to make a decision.

Conference therefore instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to work with appropriate bodies to work towards the setting up of a Power of Attorney Advocate and Ombudsmen Service covering the legal jurisdictions in the UK as a matter of urgency to protect the interest of older people.