A campaign urging Glaswegians to put a Power of Attorney (PoA) in place has seen a 34% rise in 2014.
Run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and Glasgow City Council (GCC), the message has been so successful that other Boards across Scotland are joining the campaign and boosting awareness in their own areas.
This week the campaign, which has been running since the end of 2013, will again be highlighted on television with adverts at key times throughout the day. The adverts continue the story of husband and wife Irene and John who got into difficulties when john lost capacity due to an accident and Irene was unable to make decisions on his healthcare or access his bank account. The story behind the advert can be viewed on a dedicated website.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to talk to their loved ones about establishing a PoA. This allows a designated person to step in and make the right decisions in the event of friends or family falling ill and being unable to make their own decisions.
Two years on from its inception, the campaign has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people across the Glasgow city putting a PoA in place. During 2014 there was been a 34% rise in the number of people across Glasgow registering a PoA with the Office of the Public Guardian and an 18% rise across Scotland.
Unfortunately, there are still large numbers of people entering hospital who haven’t appointed someone to act as their Attorney. If they become unable to make decisions for themselves this can lead to a delay in people being able to leave hospital when their medical treatment is complete.
David Williams, Chief Officer of the shadow Glasgow Health and Social Partnership, said: "The ‘Start the Conversation’ campaign has had a tremendous impact and has undoubtedly encouraged more people to appoint an attorney for their affairs.
“I have no doubt that many people would have remained in hospital for much longer than necessary without the effort to highlight this very important issue.
“Appointing an attorney can protect you and your family should an accident or ill health affect your ability to make decisions for yourself.
“Going to hospital can be a very difficult experience but it can become distressing if someone is unable to go home because they no longer have the ability to make decisions for themselves.
“At such stressful times the last thing anyone needs is to be faced with a mountain of red tape, but that can be the reality of the situation if power of attorney is not in place.
“Arranging for an attorney can help people avoid a delayed discharge and that is something we all want to see.”
Jill Carson, Adult Services Manager, NHSGGC, added: "We are delighted that partners in Lanarkshire, Tayside, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire have joined us to increase people's awareness about the importance of Power of Attorney for peace of mind about health and financial matters.
We are reaching out to the public through our TV adverts as well as advertising on the Subway and in some public spaces across Glasgow. We will also have leaflets and staff available in three of our Glasgow libraries."
The TV adverts are being shown within the STV West and Tayside areas from 1st - 15th June. A 10 sec advert will also be shown through the whole of Scotland during June and July.
For further information, please visit: www.mypowerofattorney.org.uk
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].