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Glasgow City Council

Remember, remember the 23rd of November

The 23rd of November is national Power of Attorney Day when the public are reminded of the importance of having Power of Attorney - a legal document that allows an agreed person to act on their behalf in the event of an emergency, illness or accident.

Sadly, every day, staff from across the health and social care sector hear of instances where a person can't be discharged from hospital because they haven't got a PoA in place.   

Power of Attorney is a legal document giving a chosen person the authority to act or make decisions on another person's behalf. Power of Attorney comes into being when that person is no longer able to look after their financial or personal affairs.

Last year, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) ran an eight-week campaign to raise awareness of Power of Attorney through improved conversations with service users, patients and their families.

Ann Cummings, Chair of the National PoA Steering Group, and Service Manager at GCHSCP, says frontline staff continue to help get the message out to Glasgow residents.

Ann said: "Staff and partners in the third sector continue to have Power of Attorney conversations with clients and families. It's part of the day-to-day business.

"The reason is so many people still wrongly assume their next of kin, or a family member can make decisions on their behalf should something happen suddenly or without warning.

"Truth of the matter is, families face a long and stressful process arranging personal and financial matters at a time when emotions are already running high, if they have not arranged a Power of Attorney.

"People need to protect themselves and their family."

While the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) indicate PoA registrations in Glasgow increased 38% over the last year, Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Health, Care & Caring and Older People, is urging everyone - regardless of age - to arrange a PoA sooner than later.

Councillor Cunningham said: "You might think it's something you don't need to bother with because you're young, fit and have family members, or close friends who'll be there to do that for you, but that's not how it works. When you don't have a Power of Attorney, you're in the hands of people who, while doing their best, can't possibly know what matters most to you.

"But this is happening to hundreds of people in Glasgow each year because they don't have PoA.  It only leads to further heartache and misery for everyone, and costly for our health and social care system.

"It is vitally important to have arrangements like a Power of Attorney in place.  It means there is someone you know and trust who is legally - and without complication or delay - authorised to make decisions on your behalf rather than a stranger."

For more information on Power of Attorney visit

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