“A loved one is suffering and I don’t know what to do” Seeing someone we love vulnerable and suffering from mental health or incapacity is stressful. … Read more
The Autumn ZOOM training programme is now available. Non professional clients are welcome to attend free of charge (but require registration).
What this terrible virus has taught me is the wonder of zoom. Geographical location is not relevant. You will need a computer / laptop /phone – with camera. I will be supplying the training materials in advance. There will be full opportunity to participate and ask questions.
Article by Peter Edwards added
Is it lawful to use GDPR to impede information gathering from friends and families?
STEPHEN BEARD OUR MUCH LOVED YOUNG SOLICITOR PASSED AWAY ON THE 23rd APRIL.
We will miss him very much.
To read more about what a special person he was click here
Our response to coronavirus = Remote rights based legal representation
New enquiries - email@example.com
PETER EDWARDS LAW – MENTAL HEALTH ACT DEPARTMENT - UPDATE – COVID-19
We wish to reassure you that Peter Edwards Law continues to remain open for business. Because of our role in protecting the rights of vulnerable people we are very pleased to note that our staff are designated by the government as key workers.
Our MCA / Court of Protection / Private client departments are still fully functioning and can be contacted either through our switchboard 0151 632 6699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are continuing to adapt to the current COVID19 lockdown, and monitor and follow the ongoing government announcements in addition to updates provided by Public Health England and NHS daily to ensure that we are complying with the government guidelines.
Mental Health Accredited Team
Jenny Oxton – 07917 658 528 – email@example.com
Desi Williams – 07772 565 224 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Florence Evennett – 07795 608 577 – email@example.com
Our front line legal representatives are backed up by our other accredited representatives
Peter Edwards, Jolanta Edwards, Paul Williams and Laura Edwards
Catherine Pease – 07501 729 040 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Padma Panigrahi – 07904 155 274 – email@example.com
Secure e-mail – MHT.firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also able to use all online based secure systems through our individual e-mail addresses, for example Egress or Switch.
For clients detained in hospital under the MHA we are following the advice from the hospitals in relation to policies they are putting in place for visiting. As per the government guidelines we will be trying to avoid unnecessary travel.
We are conducting most of our interviews by phone, but do have access to SKYPE if this is available and the patient’s preference. We can attend appointments/meeting/hearings if necessary, and where allowed. We are aware that some units do have the ability to have contactless visits for patients that are unable to communicate over the phone.
The Tribunal service has undertaken some changes, and we are continuing to adapt and comply with the new process, as well as being proactive in chasing up any delayed matters. https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Mental-Health-Pilot-Practice-Direction-for-publication.pdf
Currently we continue to liaise with the Tribunal service with regards to applications, listing, reports and decisions. Hearings are being held by telephone, however, the Tribunal has begun listing via video link, ‘cloud video platform’ (CVP), which uses Kinly videoconferencing software. This began on the 13.04.2020. We have arrangements in place to be able to conduct hearings and representation.
NHS England have issued – Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is important to note that there are currently no changes to the MHA, and the Code of Practice should continue to be adhered to until further notice.
Whilst the Coronavirus Act 2020, Schedule 8 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/schedule/8/enacted provides a number of emergency measures to the MHA, these will only come into force
‘if it is deemed nationally that the mental health sector is experiencing unprecedented resource constraints that put patients’ safety at significant risk. The emergency Coronavirus Bill makes no changes to the MCA’, Even in the event this is enacted ‘The powers should only be used when local systems decide that they are absolutely necessary’.
In September this year, Peter Edwards will have been in the legal profession as a human rights lawyer for 50 years.
“it has been an enormous privilege to fight for and seek to enhance the rights of those disabled by mental ill health or lack of capacity. Let me reassure you that there is plenty of fight left in me yet!”
We are very pleased to welcome a specialist wills and probate solicitor to our practice
Kate Webster has a STEP Advanced Diploma in Advising Vulnerable Clients and
is an Associate Member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
This allows us to extend our service into these important areas.
It is with enormous sadness that a great friend and advocate of the rights of learning disabled people, Graham Enderby, has died. Please read our appreciation here
Massive congratulations to Laura Edwards on being enrolled as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court.
This year I chaired the National Advocacy Conference
My keynote speech was on some of the threats to modern advocacy
Very proud to sponsor and award the Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award to Patricia Winchester (right) in the presence of the organiser Kate Mercer
Massive congratulations to Florence Evennett in our Tribunal Department. She has now become our 10th accredited Mental Health Tribunal representative
We are again sponsoring the National Advocate of the Year Award at the National Advocacy Conference on the 31st October at the NEC. To celebrate we have published five thought provoking articles by members of our staff
The importance of ‘I’ in IMHA by Catherine Pease
In the light of Birmingham v SR, does capacity condemn a person to lifetime detention by Stephen Beard
When to appoint an advocate under Liberty Protection Safeguards by Paul Williams and Duncan Dooley-Robinson
An evidenced based approach to risk under the MHA by Jenny Oxton and
A personal view of becoming an accredited MHT representative by Florence Evennett
These articles can be found on our opinion page
A very big thank you to all of you who supported us.
Many of the comments were very humbling and help to reinforce for all our staff why our work is so important. It is difficult to select examples but here extracts from four of them.
” Unfortunately when you have an acquired brain injury your opinion doesn’t matter, it’s like you don’t have feelings and you don’t get taken seriously, but that’s not the case at all at Peter Edwards Law, on the contrary you DO get heard, your opinion and feelings DO matter, and that means more than anyone can imagine.”
“Having worked with both Duncan and Paul from Peter Edwards Law, I have been extremely impressed with them and the support and guidance they have provided. Both Duncan and Paul go out of their way to visit clients and build up a rapport with them, something other solicitors haven’t done. This is such a personal touch and means a lot to both me and my clients.”
“The solicitors have been able to explain, sometimes complex, legal jargon and processes in a way that I and my clients have been able to understand. This has enabled individuals from a range of care settings to participate and contribute to the discussions and decisions taking place about them. This has led to some very positive outcomes to the quality and life and support to some very vulnerable people.”
“Their talented and pragmatic legal team have obtained great outcomes for people we ask them to represent and they are driven by a genuine desire to help people. All of our advocates have benefited from legal advice about cases and speak very highly about the advice received, the representation for our clients and their professional and methodical approach to case management.”
The directors Peter Edwards and Jolanta Edwards both achieve accreditation status from the Law Society as some of the UK’s first ‘Accredited Legal Representatives’. The aim of the scheme is to acknowledge the expertise of legal representatives in the rapidly expanding area of Mental Capacity and Court of Protection law, and to establish a panel of experienced solicitors whom the Court can appoint directly to represent vulnerable people prior to important decisions being made about their welfare.
Why do we do what we do?
Peter Edwards Law is here to help protect the rights of vulnerable people. Thousands of people suffer from mental health issues or lack capacity and do not get access to the support they need. Yet access to these services can be truly life changing.
Vulnerable people can suffer because they do not understand their legal rights. This can add to the stress, confusion and frustration felt.
Fighting to protect people’s rights is our sole purpose. Whether you are suffering from a mental health issue or have a family member who is incapacitated you are entitled to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect … like anybody else. Peter Edwards Law has a leading team of lawyers at various locations around England & North Wales who will listen to your side of the story and provide fair, friendly and, above all, expert advice. It is your human right to have access to the right care and resources. At Peter Edwards Law you will be able to talk a dedicated team who will support you very step of the way.