Power of Attorney campaign praised

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‘Start the Conversation’, a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of having a Power of Attorney (POA) granted to a trusted relative or friend, has been hailed a success with a rise in the number of POAs registered.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the campaign was launched across the region in November last year by NHS Tayside in partnership with Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross Councils, and Tayside members of Solicitors for Older People Scotland. A second round of the campaign kicked off in January this year.

Sally Wilson, who worked on the project with colleagues in Tayside, said: “Many people are unaware that if they become ill or injured and are unable to make decisions for themselves, no-one else, not even your next of kin, can do this for them unless they have legally been given power to do so through a Power of Attorney.

“Our aim was to make the public aware of this and encourage people to think about their future and make plans to ensure their wishes for their care are carried out without the need for prolonged legal negotiations.

“We are delighted that the number of Tayside POAs registered with the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland has risen during the campaign. Almost 1000 POAs have been registered in the first half of 2015 which is just short of the total numbers registered during 2013 and 2014 respectively.

“We would like to thank everyone involved for spreading the word about the campaign including health and social work staff, local library staff and members of the public who have started their conversations.”

Further information can be found online at www.mypowerofattorney.org.uk with ‘Ask the expert’ sessions being held in Montrose Library on Monday, September 7; Arbroath Library on Thursday, October 1 and Monifieth Library on Monday, November 9, all between 2pm and 4pm.