Covid vaccinations, capacity and consent in a care setting.
As the Covid-19 vaccination programme gets underway for care home residents, it is important to ensure that those residents who want the vaccine can receive it.
It is also important to understand the position for care home residents who lack capacity to consent to the vaccine.
Public Health England has published consent forms and letters for Covid-19 vaccination of care home residents.
If the care home resident can consent to being vaccinated, they need to sign off this form
It is incorrect for a care home to request 'consent' from an attorney or deputy for property and affairs on behalf of someone who lacks capacity - a financial attorney cannot give consent to a health and welfare matter.
The "attorney" form should only be completed by health and welfare attorneys or deputies, not property and affairs, because whether a vaccine is given or not is a health and welfare decision. The form should only be completed if the care home resident lacks capacity. The 'attorney' form is available here.
Relative's view forms
If the care home resident cannot consent and there is no health and welfare attorney or deputy, the financial attorney or deputy can complete the 'relative's view' form and the GP will make a best interests decision, taking into account any 'relative' views.
At the time of writing, there does not appear to be a form for financial deputies or attorneys to complete, so we would advise that the 'relative's view' form is also completed by them so that their views are recorded. The 'relative's view' form is available here.
Other categories of contacts who can be considered
Under the Mental Capacity Act, when making a best interests decision, the views of the following categories of contacts should be taken into account 'if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them:'
- Anyone named by the care home resident as someone to be consulted on the matter in question;
- Anyone engaged in caring for the care home resident or interested in their welfare;
- Their attorney if they have one;
- Their deputy if they have one.
Attorneys, deputies, carers and anyone else interested in the welfare of care home residents can expect to be contacted by care homes gathering the necessary information to ensure that any best interests decisions can be made as swiftly as possible, as the vaccine is rolled out on a national basis.
For information and advice, our expert Court of Protection team can help. Contact Partner Alison Lamont on 0117 929 2811 or email Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org, or Solicitor Associate Alison Mellor on 0117 929 2811, email Alison.email@example.com.
About our Court of Protection team
We are friendly and supportive lawyers with a specialist understanding of how the Court of Protection works. We are proud to have two Panel Deputies for Property and Affairs who are the only panel deputies with offices in the following local authority areas: North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol. Currently there are only around 70 panel deputies in the whole of England and Wales.
Meet our Court of Protection team here.