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health and care newsletter - July 2020

24 July 2020

Welcome to the first edition of our new look newsletter for the health and care sector which focuses on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The spread of Covid-19 across the world has created an unprecedented modern day health pandemic. As we have already seen, some have started to blame others for the world-wide spread, but it is essential that lessons are learned from how the different elements of a national health services can work together to address the most dire of health emergencies. In our work across both NHS and independent sector clients we have been struck by the willingness to collaborate and not to allow perceived problems with system working to be a barrier to treating people. The use of digital technology to enable care, despite lock down measures, has shown everyone its benefits and it will remain an important part of the system going forward. In a world of instant access to everything from your bank account to relatives on the other side of the world, health has lagged behind a little in embracing all the opportunities that technology provides but that gap is quickly closing.

In considering how well the different health regulators, commissioners and providers have worked together to address the pandemic then it will important to capture that spirit of partnership working and collaboration as we re-ignite the move towards integrated care systems (ICSs) and meet the objectives of the Long Term Plan, from both a national and local perspective. The bringing together of commissioners has been on-going for several years but hopefully the ways in which providers, both NHS and independent, have been working together to deal with the pandemic will support the development of provider collaboratives across acute, mental health and community care. Currently, we are working with a number of clients to look at the mechanisms for provider collaboratives so that integrated care arrangements can be established at place level to move forward the ICS agenda.

Equally, it is apparent that the care home and social care sector is under pressure and struggling to cope with demand. That has meant working with our health and care clients to develop support options and look at what may need to be long term to maintain and develop out of hospital care options. Clearly, the government’s views on this will be essential to putting in place a flexible legal framework but, even now we can look at options within the current statutory framework to help clients address the pressures they are under.

The one clear lesson we have got from the pandemic is that it people are prepared to work together and build relationships, then solutions to just about all issues can be found.

Consent in the Covid-19 world and beyond

Following the suspension of all non-urgent elective surgery to help free up general and acute care capacity in the wake of the pandemic, services are now starting to resume, and steps are being taken to recommence routine elective procedures where possible.

Read more >

The ventilator challenge

The UK’s response to the Pandemic has seen an unprecedented level of cross sector collaboration to provide the NHS and care sector with what they need to deliver front line care and support. One of the stand out projects was the drive to increase the availability of ventilators at the point it was feared the NHS may be overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. Senior Associate, Nick Smee, tells us about how he supported a client participating in this challenge.

Read more >

In conversation with… Christian Dingwall: Manchester Nightingale

Here at Browne Jacobson we are fortunate to work with an array of fantastic clients all dedicated to serving the health and care sector.

We talk to Christian Dingwall, Partner in our Commercial Health team, who led the team advising Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust on its work to establish and commission the Manchester Nightingale Hospital.

Read more >

Managing the Mental Health Act (MHA) during Covid-19

Update on the NHS legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic, published 19 May 2020.

Read more >

The need for change…maybe it’s not all that bad, but we must remember the impact in the future!

Never has the saying “necessity is the mother of all invention” been truer than what we see today in the unprecedented times in which we find ourselves not least in the provision of healthcare both in secondary and primary care.

Read more >

Extreme urgency? The judicial spotlight is now trained on Regulation 32(2)(c)

The news that the Good Law Project has brought judicial review proceedings against the Department for Health and Social Care in respect of its direct award of a £108m contract for PPE in April is putting the use of Regulation 32 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (Regulations) under the spotlight.This raises a number of issues for contracting authorities.

Read more >

Acquisitions of businesses critical to health emergencies to be subject to control

On 23 June 2020 the UK government brought into force The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020 which imposes controls on any acquisitions of UK businesses that are critical to combating public health emergencies.

Read more >

Investing in distressed care homes: diamonds in the rough or a lost cause?

The Covid-19 pandemic has given operators and investors in the care home market new factors to consider when assessing acquisition targets. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, activity in the care home market across all sectors was at a high level with plenty of interest from established providers and new entrants, including private equity.

Read more >

Quarantine FAQs for health & care employers

Our quarantine FAQs for health & care employers will help you to navigate the quarantine measures that are now in force in the UK.

Read more >

The role of the independent sector in ICS planning post Covid-19

The current Covid-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the relationship between the NHS and the independent sector. Both NHSE and private providers have positively reported on the new closer working relationship.

Read more >

Our top 5 tips: entering the health and social care market

The health and social care market can at times be challenging to navigate. If you are looking to grow your presence in this market, here are our five ‘top tips’ for getting started.

Read more >

Hear direct from your team

We are used to running a packed calendar of seminars, round tables and appearing at conferences but for now we have moved our activity online. You will find details below of all our upcoming webinars and forums as well as details of other online events our team are contributing to and links to recording of past webinars.

To make sure you hear first about our webinar programme please register for health and care sector mailing list.

Your team up close…

Like many organisations here at Browne Jacobson we have all found our diaries filling up with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype video calls and more and there are a number of downsides to this trend during lockdown (the chief complaint being the lack of access to a hairdresser!). However, we have also heard a number of clients commenting how great it has been to put faces to names and, in these strange times, spending a moment checking in with each other and chatting about life beyond the legal advice.

So with that in mind we thought we would take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our team or rather your team here at Browne Jacobson; Joel Nixon - a senior associate in commercial heath and Sarah Stork a senior associate in health advisoy & litigation.

In every issue, we will put a couple of our team under the spotlight so you can catch a glimpse of the person behind the lawyer. In our first instalment we have caught up with Joel and Sarah who were both promoted to senior associate in the firm’s most recent round of promotions.

Read more about the team >

Keep an eye out for…

We are living through extraordinary times and the health and care sector is rapidly developing and responding to the pandemic. However, whilst there are a number of anticipated Covid-19 developments to keep an eye out for there are also a number of other issues likely to make headlines in the legal press over the next few months. To assist you in knowing what to keep an eye out for we are sharing with you the issues at the top of our watch list.

Read our update >

Introducing our quick poll

Covid-19 impact

The Pandemic has, without a doubt, affected every aspect of our daily lives over the last three months both personally and professionally.

As we move through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been discussing in-house the impact it has had on us, what it means for the health and care sector and where we see NHS efforts being focused over the coming months and we are really interested in hearing your views too.

If you have 20 seconds to spare, read on to see how to share your opinion in our ‘Quick Click’ poll. We will publish the anonymised results in the next edition and use the information to help shape future editions of our newsletter ensuring we provide support and advice on the issues which matter to you.As we move through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been discussing in-house the impact it has had on us, what it means for the health and care sector and where we see NHS efforts being focused over the coming months and we are really interested in hearing your views too.

Take part in our poll >

focus on...

Legal updates

Checklist for NHS organisations when commissioning external reviews

When commissioning external reviews, robust end-to-end Terms of Reference (ToR) should be agreed at the outset. Find out more here.


Legal updates

New Caldicott Principle and statutory guidance on Caldicott Guardians

The National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG), Dame Fiona Caldicott, has launched a public consultation about revising and expanding the existing seven Caldicott Principles and issuing guidance to organisations about the appointment of Caldicott Guardians.


Legal updates

In conversation with… Christian Dingwall: Manchester Nightingale

We are fortunate to work with an array of fantastic clients all dedicated to serving the health and care sector. We talk to Christian Dingwall, who led the team advising Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust on its work to establish and commission the Manchester Nightingale Hospital.


Legal updates

Managing the mental health act (MHA) during Covid-19

Useful and comprehensive guidance has been issued for practitioners assessing and managing patients detained under the Mental Health Act (“MHA”) during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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