Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership has been joined by all councils in the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde area in encouraging local residents to put a Power of Attorney (PoA) in place to ensure they can leave hospital when medically fit.
Since the Power of Attorney Campaign started at the end of 2013, nearly 7,000 Glasgow residents have taken this important step to safeguard their future. In that time the website www.mypowerofattorney.org.uk has attracted over 36,000 visitors.
Initially run by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Glasgow City Council, the message has now spread across the health board area as well as further afield with Lanarkshire, Tayside, and Argyll & Bute all joining the campaign and boosting awareness in their own areas.
The campaign aims 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 someone falling ill and being unable to make their own decisions.
Unfortunately, there are still large numbers of people entering hospital unable to make decisions for themselves who haven’t appointed someone to act as their Attorney. This can lead to a delay in people being able to leave hospital when their medical treatment is complete.
Jill Carson, Adult Services Manager, Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership, said: "It's great to see more people realising the importance of taking this step to protect themselves in the event of serious illness or accident.
“When you are the Attorney for someone, it means you can make decisions about their welfare and their medical treatment as well as manage their financial affairs. We want everyone in Glasgow to make plans for their future by choosing someone to be their Attorney.
“Many people still don’t realise that their next of kin can’t act for them if they become unable to make their own decisions due to accident or illnesses such as stroke or dementia.
“Having a PoA in place can make a real difference by ensuring that loved ones' wishes are carried out quickly without prolonged legal negotiations. Otherwise people can be in hospital for longer than they need to be and this can contribute to a loss of independence.
“Our new advert, being shown from 1st December, is aimed at everyone in across the health board area who has yet to protect themselves by granting powers".
The PoA campaign is on facebook www.facebook.com/starttalkingpoa and Twitter @StartTalkingPoA.