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.
Here at Browne Jacobson we are fortunate to work with an array of fantastic clients all dedicated to serving the health and care sector. In our new ‘In conversation with …’ series we spend half an hour with one of our lawyers getting a glimpse of the behind the scenes legal work we undertake to support our clients to achieve their aims and ambitions and deliver what are, at times, ground breaking and challenging projects.
In the first of the series 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.
CD: The project involved setting up an emergency hospital in Manchester to act as a step down facility for Covid-19 patients, because it was feared that existing hospital capacity would be insufficient.
There were two key challenges for MFT to overcome, first to deliver an operational field hospital within 10 days, and secondly to pull this off in a building not designed to be a hospital - a Grade II listed ex-railway terminus converted to conference centre! These were significant legal risks and it was imperative that the legal documents provided sufficient protection for our client.
Whilst the London Nightingale Hospital had already been set up at this point, the nature of the challenges faced in establishing the Manchester Nightingale as a step down facility rather than an acute hospital to treat Covid-19 patients were such that a different approach was needed to the underlying legal arrangements.
CD: We put together a team of experts covering a range of legal disciplines including: corporate governance, commercial contracting, health and safety/regulatory, environmental, property, medical law & ethics, HR, and procurement to ensure that the client had access to and advice on all the key areas which needed to be considered. Every single one of these areas needed considering to ensure the arrangements were fit for purpose from our client’s perspective.
We approached the project with a view to supporting the two parties to achieve the shared NHS objectives whilst ensuring that the risk our client was taking on in stepping up to take on this responsibility was appropriately mitigated and/or accounted for.
CD: As I said before there was a common desire across the two parties, NHS England and our client to make this project work which was a great platform to work from in securing the deal. However, there were inevitably some challenging issues given the size and complexity of the project, for example the challenges the NHS faced in using a Grade II listed building, challenges which were not necessarily materialising on the other Nightingale Projects.
CD: It was a great project to work on. This was a critically important project, something the team never lost sight of and, of course, it was being done with a view to saving and protecting lives.
Another one of the challenges associated with this project was that the client workforce was itself being exposed to significant risks both in terms of risk to their health and professional risk if anything went wrong. It is fair to say we felt a responsibility to the workforce to ensure the job we did gave them as much protection as possible. It was one of those projects where you could see that whilst we were delivering a back office support to the NHS, it was one which was essential to support and protect the front line workers.
It definitely felt like we were working on a project of national importance.
CD: The highlight has to be the team work on a number of different levels.
The stand out highlight for me was the unsolicited feedback we received from the client we received – being told that we had done a really good job. I am really proud of the way our team and MFT’s team worked incredibly well together, as one to get the job over the line. It was really nice to see that reflected in the client’s feedback.
I also have nothing but praise for the back office support from our IT team. It was also the first time I have led a project of this complexity with a multi-disciplinary team all working remotely. Remembering that this was at the start of the lockdown, when the complete home working approach was still relatively new, the resilience of our systems to support this project was really impressive and definitely made this an easier process than it might otherwise have been. We never felt there was problem with technology getting in the way, they gave us the platform and all the tools we needed.
I think the final aspect of this was the relationship between the parties and the desire to work collaboratively to get this project.
CD: It is a really good highlight. This job happened at about the time the lockdown was introduced and a lot of the government rhetoric at the time was about the country being on a war footing with the coronavirus. So in our own way, it felt like we were able to play a perhaps small but nonetheless important role in helping the NHS ready itself for the impending rise in Covid-19 cases.
It is definitely up near the top, if only for that sense of supporting vitally important NHS work.
CD: I always think it is incredibly important for the client and their professional advisers to get on well together as a team. When the client is going to be under huge pressure in delivering a project, they need to have advisers they can rely on to be there for them and support them in the way they want to work.
That aside, key to delivering a project of this nature is to have a plan – a good, robust but flexible plan which covers every aspect of the project and identifies the key areas of legal risks so there is a platform to work from in drawing up a robust arrangement from which you can deliver the NHS shared objectives.
Browne Jacobson welcomed the Chief Coroner, His Honour, Judge Thomas Teague, KC as a guest speaker at our recent Health and Care Connect Conference. We are delighted to now publish the key insights from that session, authored by the Chief Coroner himself.
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.
Browne Jacobson was delighted to welcome Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam as a key note speaker at our recent Health and Care Connect Conference. We are delighted to now share the film of this key note speech together with an article sharing the key insights written by Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam himself.
Two directors of a construction company were fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from a plot of land. On 14 and 15 November 2021, Directors Anthony Sumner and Neil Brown, of Waterbarn Limited were involved in the uncontrolled removal of asbestos material from a plot of land in Grasscroft, Oldham.
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
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.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they will be carrying out a programme of inspections to primary and secondary school establishments from September 2022. The inspections will assess how schools are managing the risks from asbestos and meeting the Duty to Manage requirements, set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
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.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards was due to transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards in October 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. While the public consultation has now closed and we’re still unclear of what the final legislation and code will look like, it’s worth noting and keeping a watching brief.
Whilst the weather conditions are predicted to be cooling down this week, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is asking employers and businesses to consider adapting to recurrent warmer weather conditions for the safety and benefit of their staff. It asks employers to ensure that extreme heat becomes a firm part of longer term risk management. Climate change in any event is something all businesses will need to consider as the warmer weather becomes more frequent - extreme heat is something that will impact employers on a day to day basis.
In this session, our speakers discussed the Fitness to Practise Regime and how we can help.
This will be the first in a series of webinars looking into different areas of care and will focus on elderly care. Our speakers will be looking forward into 2023 and beyond to consider how elderly care may change in the future and will share insights gathered from a round table event held the week before.
As of 21 July, two separate pieces of legislation came into force which seeks to mitigate against strike action. It should come as no surprise that this is a direct response to the rail strikes, which have dominated the news in the last couple of months.
This on-demand webinar is presented by Jacqui Atkinson and Bridget Prosser. What HR issues are on your to-do list and what are the employment law ramifications?
This is an important training course for practising clinicians and any NHS professionals who would benefit from understanding the inquest process, including those working in clinical governance and risk, complaints, family liaison and in-house legal teams.
Recent reports of flat roofs constructed using RAAC planks collapsing without warning prompted the SCOSS alert.
In this article, we discuss some of the themes we have seen in recent CQC regulation as well as providing an update on the development of their new assessment framework. I will also highlight other key developments in the sector that all providers should be aware of.
This summer saw the publication of a report describing itself as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to reset children social care. Based on the current trajectory, the report concluded that 100,000 children would be held in care in the next decade.
This on-demand webinar looks at the Secretary of State’s new powers under the Health & Care Act 2022 & impact on current approach for healthcare providers.
Presented by Gerard Hanratty, this on-demand webinar looks into the key new functions for Integrated Care Systems under the new Health & Care Act 2022. It provides a useful update on what is new, how it may be interpreted and what issues may arise.
This on-demand webinar is suitable for legal and procurement specialists operating within publicly funded contracting authorities.
In this session, our speakers discussed fundamentals of disclosure, general points on disclosure & Post-Pandemic, interested Persons & Patient Safety Incident Response, and how we can help & Takeaway Tips.