The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) know the delays are frustrating for customers and it is committed to reducing the time it is currently taking to register lasting powers of attorney (LPA).

It is currently taking up to 20 weeks to process and register LPA applications, which remain paper based. Like most organisations, the OPG faced disruption in the first few months of the pandemic causing a backlog to grow as staff fell ill, were forced to shield, or look after children not in school, as well as adhering to social distancing restrictions in the workplace. In response to this, the OPG rapidly changed working practices and processes so it could deliver services throughout the pandemic. Frontline operational staff whose role requires them to be office-based, have worked in the office throughout the pandemic, working various shift patterns day and night to clear the backlog, and continue to do so.

The OPG is experiencing higher demand for its service and so has allocated extra staff to process all applications it receives, and check applications are accurate. Many staff are working overtime hours to do this, and this is having an impact, with the number of LPAs and EPAs being registered each month being back to pre-pandemic levels. The OPG has also been reviewing internal processes to make sure it is doing all it can to improve the application journey for customers.

The OPG will continue to experience challenges while the system remains paper based. The OPG is working jointly with the Ministry of Justice to improve the process for making and registering an LPA, including introducing an option of doing so digitally, to reduce the need for paper. This modernised service will require primary legislation to implement and information regarding the Government consultation and response on modernising LPAs can be found at: