Financial support for looking after someone's assets whilst in hospital

Good afternoon,

This is my first post here, so hello to everyone!

I fit in the “young careers” category.

The situation is as follows. A good friend of mine who is a vulnerable elderly gentleman (who I have known since I was a kid), was omitted for the 2nd time this year, into a secure psychiatric hospital having tried to set fire to himself. He is schizophrenic, lives on his own, has no family, very few friends and is in receipt of PiP and pension payments. Owns a house. He has a carer who came in twice a week to help with cleaning, washing, tidying up etc (who I am in regular contact with).

I have been looking after his affairs to the best of my ability since he first went into hospital earlier this year. Checking house is secure, e-mails, phone messages and sorting post. Unfortunately, due to his mental state, he keeps on ordering junk online which gets delivered to his house and there have been issues with broken/missing items which I have to end up getting involved with directly, taking a lot of time up. The house needs a visit at least once a week, for security, safety and to collect post. The property is in a bit of a state and I have had to sort out security, problems with the heating, drains leaking… I live over 100 miles away, so not local to him. Fortunately, the part of the country he lives in, is not far from the area in which I carry out of a lot of work for my business, so are able to arrange things to visit his house, work, then visit him in hospital 30 minutes away.

The situation with my friend is not looking good and he is likely to be detained under the MHA well into the new year. He is not allowed out, even under supervision. Visiting times and procedures and strict, which is causing a further headache and taking time up when I visit him.

My question revolves around obtaining some financial support for my costs. When working up this way, I can offset the costs against the business so it is not so much of an issue, since it is on my way anyway. However, he is going to need more and more care - I am effectively his carer now. Increasingly taking time out from work (I am self-employed) and spending £50+ on fuel each visit, is not sustainable.

This whole situation scares me a lot. If I had not been around, or he had not managed to get a message out to me from hospital, goodness knows what might have happened to his unsecured house and assets. The care agency who used to send someone in twice a week can’t get involved - I am the only one he has…

Sorry for the long post, but am close to tears…

Thanks for any advice.

Alex x

HUGS Alex, you have been a wonderful friend to this person.
I am absolutely dismayed that you have been left to deal with all this. There has been a catastrophic failure of the system. When he was admitted to a secure hospital, it should have triggered a series of events.
50 years ago I was part of a team who dealt with the property of someone in a similar position.
We spent days itemising every possession in the whole house!!! It took ages and ages.
Your friend’s bank accounts should have been immediately frozen, as clearly he is not of sound mind.
You need to protect yourself from any allegations of abuse.
I would suggest that you talk to the “Office of the Public Guardian” helpline to start with. It’s a daunting sounding title, but they were very helpful to me when I needed advice a few years ago.
In Hampshire, where I live, I know that there is a Social Services Client Affairs Team who manage the affairs of vulnerable adults, but start with the OPG.