Guidance for NHS & Social Care Staff : Check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy

Published on Monday, April 20, 2020 by Amy Underwood

Guidance - 

NHS and social care staff: check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy.

Office of the Public Guardian


  1. Request information about a coronavirus patient
  2. The information you will receive
  3. Enduring power of attorney searches
  4. Annex A

The Office of the Public Guardian holds a register of everyone who has a lasting or enduring power of attorney (LPA and EPA), or who has a deputy acting for them. This can be searched to find the contact details of those involved.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there have been many urgent requests to search the database for people who have lost mental capacity.

OPG is working to respond quickly to these requests, with a process specifically for patients incapacitated by COVID-19.

Request information about a coronavirus patient

Write an email with the following contents:

  • The subject line: ‘Covid-19’
  • The template in Annex A at the bottom of the page, adding the individual’s details
  • your email signature, including your job title and team

Send the email to

It must be sent from an official email address, for example or We cannot accept requests from personal email addresses.

We aim to respond to requests within 24 hours, Monday and Friday. Requests made over the weekend will be dealt with on Monday as a priority.

Requests that are not for coronavirus patients will be dealt with in the standard process. This is 5 working days.

The information you will receive

You will be told whether an LPA, EPA or deputyship court order is in place.

Where one is in place, you will be told:

  • if it is for health and welfare (some relate only to property and finances)
  • the date it was registered (LPA or EPA) or the date of the court order
  • names and contact details of attorneys or deputies
  • if there are restrictions on the powers of the attorney or the court order
  • if an attorney has authority over life-sustaining treatment for the donor
  • where there are multiple attorneys or deputies, how they are appointed to act
  • if the LPA, EPA or deputyship has been cancelled, revoked or expired
  • the expiry date of any court order

Enduring power of attorney searches

These may take longer as the documents have not been stored digitally.

Annex A

Dear OPG

Please search the OPG registers for any instrument for this person:

Name: Date of Birth: Address:

I require this information to assist with: (delete as applicable)

  • moving this person out of hospital care to an alternative setting in order to release their bed for care of patients affected by Covid-19
  • ascertaining best interest treatment decisions for an individual who is in hospital due to infection with Covid-19
  • ascertaining best interest decisions for an individual affected by Covid-19 whilst undertaking my statutory safeguarding duty

I cannot get this from the individual as they do not have mental capacity.

Return to the news listing page