Brain Injury Group Court of Protection: An Update
Adrian Hawley, Head of Court of Protection Costs, provides an update from the latest Brain Injury Group Court of Protection training day, held on 12 July 2017 at 7 Bedford Row in London. This was the third training day provided by the group which covered several areas of the field of Court of Protection work.
The delegates were treated to a Mental Capacity Act legal update from Lee Parkhill of 7 Bedford Row, followed by the ever-entertaining Tim Farmer of TSF Consultants talking about Mental Capacity Assessments. We also heard from Nick Martin of Nestor, Erin Smart of Moore Blatch covering Special Educational Needs and Anna Moore of Leigh Day looking at Human Rights.
For me, the most engaging presentation of the day was listening to ‘The reality of Deputyship’ provided by Neil Elliott of Novum Law. He introduced us to Eddie Tymoshyshyn and his mother Jo. Eddie suffered from an accident at the end of 2011 aged 19 and received settlement when he was 23. He sustained an extensive traumatic brain injury whilst as a passenger in a car driven by a friend.
The injuries sustained by Eddie were complex resulting in a number of surgical interventions including a Bi-frontal craniotomy, Evacuation of extensive haematomas and skull reconstruction via cranioplasty.
A deputyship order was obtained allowing the solicitor to work with Eddie and his family. His financial affairs were taken over, rehabilitation was arranged, employment of rehabilitation and treating therapists, appointment of a case manager, supporting the hospital to home transition, employing a care team, renting property and arranging adaptations, managing outgoings, applying for benefits, applying for statutory funding, dealing with tax returns and holding regular reviews with Eddie and his mother among other tasks to look after Eddie’s financial affairs.
We then heard from Eddie’s mother Jo who shared her experience of the impact the accident had upon the family. The most poignant memory was the road upon which she travelled with Eddie which did not have any signpost and no guidance as to the starting point of the recovery process or in fact which road to take.
The first sign Jo came across was the calls from the ambulance chasers. The second was all the focus was given to Eddie with no advice or support for Jo and the rest of the family. Commands were given to Jo with no thought as to the choices available. Who could she turn to with regards to the costs of visiting the hospital daily?
Jo sought assistance from Headway, the brain injury association, and consulted the Head Injury Solicitors Directory which brought Jo and Novum Law together. At this point Jo received the external support in the assistance to Eddie’s rehabilitation.
The solicitors featured in the directory have all agreed to work within the Headway Personal Injury Lawyers code of conduct, which tells uses the service they could expect from a solicitor. The directory information has support such as questions to ask the solicitor and has a legal advice section on its website.
External intervention from the solicitor provided Eddie with a support worker that fitted his needs and requirements. Up to this point Eddie had refused a support worker. His injuries left him suffering with fatigue but he was supported through his educational studies at college.
In summing up, Jo explained how the accident took over her life whilst still holding down a full-time job and bring up a family single handled. The support provided allowed her to function and at the same time provide her own support to her son.
Headway provides many support service which can be accessed via its website. These cover:
- A branch network and group across the country
- The Brain Injury Identity Card
- A Helpline open 9-5 Monday to Friday (answerphone outside those hours)
- Headway Acute Trauma Support
- Headway Emergency Fund
- Online communities on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
- Solicitors directory
There are a number of ways you can support the work of Headway including fundraising, corporate membership, getting involved in a campaign, donating or by volunteering.
I am personally involved with my local Headway branch in Huddersfield and we have agreed two goals for our branch this year. The first is to recruit new members and the second is to provide several services – which means we have a considerable amount of fund raising to do. It is satisfying and rewarding work even in the short space of time I have been involved.
You can visit the Brain Injury Group website via braininjurygroup.co.uk
To contact him regarding anything in this blog – or for any Court of Protection Costs matter – please click here.