As we head towards the end of 2020 and the new year there are a number of recent developments and issues we continue to keep an eye on.
As we head towards the end of 2020 and the new year there are a number of recent developments and issues we continue to keep an eye on. Here are the issues and developments which made our watch list for this edition.
Why is it important?
The standard of proof for Suicide and Unlawful Killing conclusions in Inquests has changed.
|Following the Supreme Court ruling in R (on the application of Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire the standard of proof has changed from the criminal to the civil standard being “on the balance of probabilities”.|
|Ongoing||Inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England.||
The focus of the inquiry is failings in maternity services and the action needed to improve safety for mothers and babies. The inquiry plans to examine evidence relating to ongoing concerns and will build upon the investigations which followed East Kent Hospitals University Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust along with the inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. Consideration will be given as to whether the clinical negligence and litigation processes need to be changed to improve the safety of maternity services and the extent to which a “blame culture” affects medical advice and decision making. The Committee invited written submission on various points including the impact of work already undertaken to improve patient safety, the contribution of clinical negligence and the litigation process to patient safety, the advice, guidance and practice in relation to choices available to pregnant women as to mode of delivery, the effectiveness of training and support given to maternity staff and the role of HSIB in improving maternity services. The call for evidence closed on 4 September and we will be closely following developments.
|Appeal to the CA of the decision in Parminder Paul v Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust||Permission to appeal sought. Decision anticipated in 1-2 months||
Clarification of the law on proximity in secondary victim psychiatric injury claims. If the relaxation of the previous strict control mechanisms is permitted, this will lead to a significant increase in secondary victim claims.
|Autumn/Winter 2020||Supreme Court judgment expected in Mencap case on National Minimum Wage for sleep-in shifts||
For many years the practice among care providers has been to pay staff carrying out sleep-in shifts a flat rate, on the basis that NMW was not payable. If the appeal is successful it will mean that this approach was incorrect and this will have massive cost implications for care providers. Various care charities have warned that as many as two-thirds of employers in the care sector face insolvency if they were required to pay the back-pay bill.
|Winter 2020||It has long been expected that in the wake of Brexit we may see reform of the current Public Procurement regime although the outcome of any trade deal with the EU may impact on this.||Any proposed legislative reform will be preceded by a consultation exercise. We recommend that both contracting authorities (those organisations subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015) and suppliers alike engage with this exercise to ensure that their views can inform the consultation process. If a consultation is forthcoming we will host a number of roundtable events to look at the impact of the potential reforms.|
Our legal updates will bring you news of these and other key legal developments as soon as they happen.
The BMA is advising all NHS / HSCNI consultants to ensure extra-contractual work is paid at the BMA minimum recommended rate and to decline offers of extra-contractual work that doesn't value them appropriately.
NHS England has published (October 2022) new guidance - Assuring and supporting complex change: Statutory transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.
NHS England has issued an updated (publication 11 October 2022) suite of Complex Change guidance about how it will assure and support proposals for complex change that are reportable to it. New and (where it is still in force) existing Complex Change guidance are as follows.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
In Mogane v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether it was fair to dismiss a nurse as redundant on the basis that that her fixed-term contract was due to expire before that of her colleague.
Three months on from the commencement of the new statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Anja Beriro and Gerrard Hanratty reflect on the main themes and issues that have come from the new relationship between local government and health.
The majority of people do not feel the need to embellish their CV to get that coveted position and move on up the career ladder. Their worthiness and benefit to the hiring organisation are easily demonstrated through the recruitment process – application, psychometric testing, selection day or interview.
On Saturday 15 October a wave of light swept the internet when thousands of people flooded social media with pictures of candles to remember the babies that they have lost. This event signifies the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week which aims to break the silence that is associated with baby loss in pregnancy and infancy.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 allowed any registered medical practitioner to sign a medical certificate of cause of death (“MCCD”), even if the deceased was not attended to during his or her last illness and not seen after death, provided that the medical practitioner could state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief.
In our latest Shared Insights session, Focus on Emergency Medicine, chaired by Jennifer Fagin and Amelia Newbold, we were pleased to be joined by: Dr Alex Crowe, Deputy Director Incentive Schemes & Academic Partnerships, NHS Resolution and Consultant Nephrologist and Miss Susie Hewitt MBE, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.
Browne Jacobson has been ranked as a Top Tier law firm in 25 key practice areas in Legal 500 UK 2023, the independent directory of comparative law firm performance. The firm also continues to underpin its status as one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands region with 16 Tier 1 rankings.
On 7 July this year, NHS England published its statutory guidance for Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) and with it set out the ICBs’ role and responsibilities and how they should collaborate, interact and carry out their anti-fraud, bribery and corruption functions in concert with NHS England.
The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.
This case provides a reminder to contracting authorities that whilst the bar for an award of damages in procurement cases is high, following the Supreme Court ruling in Energy Solutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority  1 WLR 1373, it is not insurmountable when a contracting authority has acted with disregard to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCRs). There is also further guidance as to the use of frameworks
Welcome to our August edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.