Next Of Kin - Uk Medical Definition

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by 117katie, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    #1 117katie, Oct 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
    doesn't matter anymore ... i know where i am and where you are
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Katie, I assume that this is because your sister is older.

    There can only be one 'next of kin', and the data protection act means doctors and hospitals can't give out information.

    We had a thread about this before, but unfortunately I can't find it, because the words are too short for the search engine. Perhaps someone else will remember.

    You might have more luck if you and your sister asked together.
  3. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    #3 117katie, Oct 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2007
    Computer is playing up this evening, so half of the messasge I was trying to leave may already be posted.

    Hazel, when my relative was first admitted I clarified with the Ward Manager the fact that she only had two living relatives, and I was assured that both of us were recorded as such, and that both of us would be contacted in an emergency, and that both of us had the right to ask questions. One lives 10 miles up the road, the other 30 miles up the road from where our relative now is.

    I'm not sure it is accurate to say that there can only be one - for the simple reason, that the ONE ELDEST LIVING RELATIVE may live in somewhere inaccessible, but the OTHER NEAREST RELATIVE may have lived much closer.

    This is something that each and every one of us may have to face at some point in our lives, and I cannot for the life of me understand why each and every one of us should only be allowed ONE next of kin, when each of us may have MANY next of kin. If there is no legal definition of next of kin, then we need to challenge the definition presented to us ON THE DAY.

    Sorry, but I feel strongly about this - because according to the rule of only one NEXT OF KIN, and if that BLOOD RELATIVE is defined by their date of birth, then heaven help ME!!!!!

    And I am afraid that The Data Protection Act is frequently misquoted - this has nothing to do with the Data Protection Act. That is something behind which cowards hide. Even BT have quoted to me the Data Protection Act when I have phoned them to query a £765 bill that arrived for myself and my husband - and I HAVE POSTED THEM ALL THE CHEQUES FOR THE LAST 7 YEARS TO PAY OUR BILLS. But because BT only accepts one name on the bill, they quoted the Data Protection Act.

  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    #4 jenniferpa, Oct 21, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2007
    I remember that thread as well.

    I do know under the mental health act there is a definition for nearest relative, whcih may not be the next of kin (I was my mother's next of kin but would not have been considered her nearest relative because I live outside the UK :mad: ) The mind site has the fulll definition (

    However, I think what may have happen in your case is related to you other post re the social worker deciding that they are the decision maker. I think (emphasise think) that when social services took this step, your rights as next of kin may have been thrown out the window. I'm not saying that is what is supposed to happen but what I would suspect may have happened.

    P.S. Does this hospital have a PALS department? (Patient advice and liasion). Becasue if they do, I have found them very effective as shaking things out of the tree.
  5. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    I can't believe ... no I do not wish to believe ... that my rights as her Caring Relative could possibly be thrown out of the window.

    I am about to look into the necessary legal steps to be appointed her Deputy or whatever the current term is, so that at least someone who Cares about her as a person rather than a number, can be appointed to take care of all those decisions that may be needed.

    Will I need masses of legal advice and costs to do so?

  6. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Yes, just read your edit about the PALS - they do and I am more than interested in shaking bits out of the tree.

  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Well I can see why you wouldn't want to believe it but I can see it happening 1) because the social workeer in your case seems to have taken on more authority than they are entitled to and 2) because the hospital will have no idea what the effects of this new legislation are.
  8. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    So, next question is: how does one determine the power that a Social Worker has by definition in the UK? I have asked to see the "Staff Guidance" document that she tells me she is working to, but have received no reply.

    And how does one challenge the decisions made by a Social Worker?

  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Well this is the blind leading the blind. I would do what you have done: ask to see the guidance. Apart from that contact PALS, plus, depending on where you are, you might contact your local law centre They specialise in "social welfare" law and I would think, to be honest, they would be delighted to get their teeth into this as it is "new" law with possibly major ramifications.
  10. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Been and looked at your Local Law Centre website recommendations, but the nearest Law Centre that comes up is in the Isle of Wight .... and we live in Berkshire.

    So I guess I will just have to contact a Solicitor ... HELP! They are not all what they seem in this part of the world.

  11. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Not at all sure if I am right, but can only relate our own experience.

    I am listed everywhere as Lionel's next of kin. No, I am not his wife.

    He has two children, and (to my knowledge) one grandchild.

    No one has ever questioned my right to access to his medical notes, and I am his only point of reference. Indeed, I don't think anyone would even have knowledge of his children's whereabouts.

    Basically I am the only one who cares. I hold his EPA relating to matters financial.
  12. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    As I was about to say before computer went blank again --- I didn't have a chance to be appointed via an EPA because by the time it was needed, she was already diagnosed with Dementia, so it was not an option.

    And now because she is deemed to be "without mental capacity to make decisons!"- and I do not for one minute ask questions about that, because I know for sure she is not capable of even deciding whether she should have sugar in her tea (which she hates, but that is what the staff give her each and every day!!!). But all I would like to be able to do is to say on her behalf "Please don't give me tea with sugar because I don't like it" .... and obviously many more important questions on her behalf.

  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Katie, does your relative have a solicitor?

    My ex-neighbour had some family, a brother and sisters-in- law, but the were not in contact. His solicitor, acting for him, granted me authority to draw his pension, and receive information, other than `comfortable`, when he was in hospital.
  14. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Well that's why I said depending on where you are - they're a bit scattered. I would think the Swindon one might be closer to you depending on where is Berks you are, or possibly Surrey, or even one of the London ones. CAB might be able to help, or at least direct you to a solictor who has expertise in this area (I don't think you want one who spends most of his/her time dealing with conveyancing and wills - this is a very much a specialist area).
  15. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    No, Sylvia, my relative does not have an appointed solicitor, and I guess it is now too late for her to be able to appoint a solicitor. I could therefore only appoint one to act on behalf of myself, and indirectly on her behalf - but she could not give her consent for that because she has Dementia, and is deemed to be incapable of making such a decision.

    I have just for the umpteenth time phoned the ward where she is - and it only took me 15 minutes to get a reply (!!!) - , and each and every time they say to me "she is confused", and I say in return "yes, that is why she is with you - all your patients are confused, aren't they?". All I am met with is the standard "She is doing fine - she is not able to find her way to the toilet but we assist her - she is fine, she is fine, there is no need to worry". Today when I arrived the toilet in her room was full and unflushable, blocked to the top almost. HOW COME YOU HAVE NOT NOTICED THAT I ASKED? HOW COME YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING ABOUT IT I ASKED. So I did get her moved to the nearest vacant room - not ideal, because she has dementia, so is unlikely to find her way back to it, having spent the last 12 weeks learning to find the room she had until now, but that bathroom was a positive health hazard today.

    And , when I left her today at about 4 pm she was not the person I knew 3 weeks ago, last time I was able to visit her.

    I suspect that this "pain relief morphine patch" is killing her senses slowly, killing her ability to even stay awake, killing her will to make the effort. But they will not tell me how strong this morphine patch is, nor why it is the only means of pain relief for her "back pain", which - so far - they can only attribute to osteopenia, not osteoporosis but osteopenia which I understand to be a relatively mild bone-density loss. But I'm not a medic, so they obviously can tell me anything.
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    So who is making decisions on this lady`s behalf, and who has appointed this body to make decisions. Is it the SS.

    This is very sensitive, but who would benefit from this lady`s estate should she die, if she has not made a will. If the person would be you, Katie, shouldn`t that establish you as next of kin.
  17. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi,117 Katie
    Found this for you ,hope it useful

    The Alzheimer’s Society can recommend legal firms with specialist experience in legal problems arising in relation to dementia. Check with the solicitor whether you qualify for public funding.

    You can telephone Community Legal Service Direct for details of solicitors, advice agencies and information providers committed to providing a high standard of services in your area. Telephone 0845 345 4345 (9am-6.30pm Monday-Friday). All calls are charged at local rates. Alternatively, visit their website at

    The Law Society’s website ( gives details of law firms and solicitors practising in England and Wales and provides useful information about legal specialties and fees, as well as tips about what to ask and what to expect from a solicitor.

    Firms offering legal and financial advice

    Some law firms also employ independent financial advisers, making it easier to combine financial and legal advice.

    LawNet Ltd is a network of law firms throughout the country. It can refer you to firms in your area with experience of advising people with dementia and their families on legal and financial matters.

    LawNet Ltd
    First Floor, 93/95 Bedford Street
    Royal Leamington Spa CV32 5BB
    Telephone 01926 886990

    SIFA Limited can refer you to legal firms that offer financial advice to complement their legal advice.

    10 East Street, Epsom
    Surrey KT17 1HH
    Telephone 01372 721172

    Other sources of help

    Age Concern England
    Astral House
    1268 London Road
    London SW16 4ER
    Freephone information line 0800 00 99 66 (every day 8am-7pm)

    Fact sheets are available from the website, by writing to the above address or by telephoning the information line. Useful fact sheets include Making your will and Legal arrangements for managing your finances.

    Alzheimer's Society
    Gordon House
    10 Greencoat Place
    London SW1P 1PH
    Alzheimer's Helpline 0845 300 0336 (8.30am-6.30pm weekdays)

    Publishes many helpful information and advice sheets, including Enduring power of attorney and receivership.

    Benefits Enquiry Line (BEL)
    0800 88 22 00 (8.30am-6.30pm weekdays, 9am-1pm Saturdays)
    Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired people who use a textphone can call BEL free on 0800 24 33 55.

    This free helpline is for people with disabilities or sickness and their carers. Advisers can send you forms and advise you but they have no access to personal records.

    Counsel and Care
    Twyman House
    16 Bonny Street
    London NW1 9PG

    Advice line 0845 300 7585 (weekdays 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, except Wednesday afternoons)

    Help the Aged
    207-221 Pentonville Road
    London N1 9UZ
    Telephone 020 7278 1114
    Seniorline freephone 0808 800 6565 (9am-4pm weekdays )

    Publishes useful booklets on managing your finances.

    Alzheimer's Society Information Sheet
  18. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    She made her will about 8 years ago when her twin brother - also unmarried - died intestate, and I am one of the two executors of her will, the other one being my brother who has since those days not even visited her or seen her even. I can remember when she made her will that she said to me "I think you two are the best to handle all of this" meaning that she then knew that my sister would not be able to do so. And she was spot on right.

    She has very little to leave to anyone who might care about inheriting the small amount she squirrelled away after years and years of working without ever claiming any benefits, because that is the way we were brought up as a family. She just made do with the little she had, and lived off her pension. She never took a day off sick from work because she would not have been paid then for doing so. She retired about 25 years ago, and since then has lived on her state pension and her state pension only.

    So whenever it comes to be that she has to leave us, whatever she leaves behind - and I have no idea what that may be - will be split between her only 3 survivors - my younger brother who doesn't give a toss about her, my elder sister and myself. But I am not interested in that. Apart from the fact that she indicated then that she trusted me.

    I have been appointed to deal with her pension matters and her benefit claims (attendance allowance and such) by the Pension Service, but that counts for nothing as far as the NHS and Social Services are concerned. I don't matter as far as they are concerned.

    All I can say to you all is beware of this Mental Capacity Act.

    It is a way to exclude those who care, because we have no legal rights.

    Social Workers are the newly appointed Gods.

    I am now going to have to fight in the Courts to get someone to accept that all I want to do is to ask questions on behalf of my 83 year old Aunt who was there and has supported me from the day I was born. She was probably the first person to hold me, apart from my Mum and the 'midwife', because in those days men were not exactly invited to partake. And I was born at home, not in a hospital, and my Aunt was there helping my Mum, her sister.

    But I can't now help her as she goes along the road out of this life, and I know that is the path she is now on. I am a realist, and I love her very much.
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006


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