Free From Supervision

A complainant who was subject to guardianship and trusteeship under the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) contacted our office with complaints about their experience. The complainant believed the PGT should have noticed sooner that the psychological condition that caused them to be placed under care had improved. The complainant also complained that the PGT made decisions on their behalf which they believed were unfair, including placing them in a private care home that they believed overcharged for its services and selling their personal vehicle.

We contacted the PGT through our informal resolution process to relay the complaints and pose questions about the PGT’s actions and decisions. We learned that although the PGT had no written policies regarding the monitoring of a client’s clinical condition, in practice they do monitor for improvements.  This practice is what led to the termination of the guardianship and trusteeship in this case. The PGT explained that the termination of guardianship and trusteeship is ultimately dependent on professional medical opinions and the will of the courts. The PGT can only provide opinions in support of an argument for removing an individual from care.

In the complainant’s case, the PGT arranged for medical reassessments of their condition within a few months of becoming aware that they may no longer require guardianship and trusteeship. When the medical assessment supported that conclusion, the PGT acted diligently to request the complainant’s removal from guardianship and trusteeship by the courts, which occurred less than two months later.

As part of our investigation we learned that the PGT has provided input on proposed new legislation, the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, which provides for guidance on how and when reviews of guardianship and trusteeship orders should occur. If passed, we understand that the new legislation would codify the practice it already has in place.

With respect to the individual’s complaints about the selling of their vehicle, we learned that the PGT made this decision based on a psychiatrist’s opinion that their driver’s license would not be reinstated. Despite their capacity eventually improving to the point that they were again able to drive, we could not fault the PGT for taking action based on the doctor’s opinion. To address their complaint about expenses they were charged while residing at the care home, we obtained records from PGT of what was charged, which we confirmed was not unreasonable.

Following a thorough assessment of the complaint, we determined that no further action was required and closed our file.