Employment services for healthcare

Employment law has always been fast paced and ever changing, but as we’ve seen from global employee activism in recent years, social media can now play an increasing part in the world of employment law. The pace of change, alongside the regulations and guidance which impact on the delivery of healthcare, means you need employment lawyers who understand the rapidly changing world of managing people in a healthcare setting.

We act for public and private healthcare organisations, from large acute hospitals to care homes, supporting our clients with managing people and finding pragmatic solutions to deal with day-to-day employment issues as well as more specialist issues such as industrial action, which in the current cost of living climate is seeing a resurgence across all sectors including healthcare.   

What we do

We’re also here to help support healthcare clients across a range of matters, from workforce issues for start-up organisations through to advising on employment issues in major acute private or public hospitals. Our team is led by partners who have all chosen to specialise in healthcare employment and we work in partnership with you to understand what’s important to your organisation, how we can tailor our services to work most effectively for you and how we can best achieve your objectives. We have worked on the leading national major reconfigurations in the NHS, mergers and acquisitions in the private and public healthcare system and most recently on collaborative arrangements between provider organisations and the disestablishment of CCGs and the creation of Integrated Care Systems. Through our experience, we can support our clients with the whole breadth of HR and employment issues which impact on your workforce in major transactions, i.e. TUPE, managing change, dismissal and re-engagement, worker status issues, subject access requests under GDPR, drafting key agreements and advising on contractual and policy issues.     

Our experience in transactional work

An issue which is particularly relevant to the NHS is ensuring that any severance payments meet the regulatory requirements so that our clients are not subject to financial penalties or reviews into payments which can impact on well led status. We work closely with our regulatory colleagues to ensure that you’re also aware of any Fit and Proper Persons issues which may arise as a result of the handling of employee-related issues. 

Chambers 2022
"Their strengths are responsiveness and excellent contextual legal advice; they are extremely supportive."

Employment litigation can be expensive and nerve wracking for all involved. It goes without saying that our team provides a service which ensures that you have a strong team of lawyers who understand the law and best practice in defending Employment Tribunal claims. It’s equally as important to ensure that our lawyers are empathetic and supportive with witnesses giving evidence in response to litigation in what is inevitably a difficult and stressful process for everyone involved.   

Employment litigation

Handling Complex Doctors Issues under MHPS or the withdrawal of practising privileges 

One of our areas of expertise which sets us apart from competitors is our vast experience in handling cases involving doctors under the Maintaining High Professional Standards procedures in the NHS and also on the withdrawal of practising privileges in the private healthcare sector. We offer a 30-minute free triage service to our clients at the outset of a case so that we can ensure that you set off on the right track for the issues.   

Post-pandemic we’re seeing an increasing number of serious issues being investigated from conduct to capability and also involving team breakdowns. We ensure that we keep fully informed of the current case law and guidance in this area and regularly advise on the duties of Responsible Officers and the issue of conflicts and grievances which can arise in the context of investigations.    

We offer bespoke training in this area for non-executive directors who may be involved in overseeing cases, Boards who wish to fully understand the risks of injunction that may be triggered under MHPS and for key stakeholders involved in these processes i.e. Case Managers, Case Investigators and supporting HR teams.

Legal 500 2022
"Bridget is astute and can identify the strengths and weaknesses in complex cases quickly and efficiently. Bridget is an outstanding and tactical practitioner who is able to position her clients like a Chessmaster to achieve great results time after time. She is head and shoulders above a very good rest at the firm."

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a continued focus on employee investigations in the healthcare sector covering issues such bullying and harassment arising from protected characteristics, complex employee-related investigations following the Ockenden Maternity Review through to whistleblowing (raising concerns) and sexual harassment. In a sector which has been severely impacted by a global shortage of employee talent, looking after your people by investigating these issues has become a key part of reputation management and retaining workforce talent.

We provide support to clients with the strategic case management of sensitive and high-profile investigations where the nature of the issues involved may have reputational or regulatory consequences for the organisation. This service includes supporting Commissioning or Case Managers, drafting Terms of Reference, responding to correspondence in the course of the investigation, advising and assisting with decision making following the investigation process to ensure that your response is in keeping with legal and regulatory requirements.

Supporting Sensitive and High-Profile Investigations

In some instances where the matter is particularly sensitive or complex or internal resource is simply stretched, organisations may require an investigation process to be conducted by an independent lawyer. We’re able to assist in sourcing a suitably experienced team of employment lawyers with experience of handling complex and sensitive investigations. 

We take a practical, common-sense approach, reaching conclusions and making recommendations without sitting on the fence and doing so in the most commercial and cost-effective way. Expect our lawyers to want to get to know you and your business. We are curious about understanding the context of your organisation and your business objectives as we appreciate that context is often key in conducting an even-handed fact-find into the concerns raised. 

Legal 500 2022
"The quality of work and thoroughness is exceptional. Their knowledge is fantastic and they always advise in a direct, straightforward manner that is easy to understand. They give me options where they exist and explain the benefits and downsides to both, in short they give me everything I need and expect."

We’re also here to help support healthcare clients across a range of matters, from workforce issues for start-up organisations through to advising on employment issues in major acute private or public hospitals. Our team is led by partners who have all chosen to specialise in healthcare employment and we work in partnership with you to understand what’s important to your organisation, how we can tailor our services to work most effectively for you and how we can best achieve your objectives. We have worked on the leading national major reconfigurations in the NHS, mergers and acquisitions in the private and public healthcare system and most recently on collaborative arrangements between provider organisations and the disestablishment of CCGs and the creation of Integrated Care Systems. Through our experience, we can support our clients with the whole breadth of HR and employment issues which impact on your workforce in major transactions, i.e. TUPE, managing change, dismissal and re-engagement, worker status issues, subject access requests under GDPR, drafting key agreements and advising on contractual and policy issues.     

Our experience in transactional work

An issue which is particularly relevant to the NHS is ensuring that any severance payments meet the regulatory requirements so that our clients are not subject to financial penalties or reviews into payments which can impact on well led status. We work closely with our regulatory colleagues to ensure that you’re also aware of any Fit and Proper Persons issues which may arise as a result of the handling of employee-related issues. 

Chambers 2022
"Their strengths are responsiveness and excellent contextual legal advice; they are extremely supportive."

Employment litigation can be expensive and nerve wracking for all involved. It goes without saying that our team provides a service which ensures that you have a strong team of lawyers who understand the law and best practice in defending Employment Tribunal claims. It’s equally as important to ensure that our lawyers are empathetic and supportive with witnesses giving evidence in response to litigation in what is inevitably a difficult and stressful process for everyone involved.   

Employment litigation

Handling Complex Doctors Issues under MHPS or the withdrawal of practising privileges 

One of our areas of expertise which sets us apart from competitors is our vast experience in handling cases involving doctors under the Maintaining High Professional Standards procedures in the NHS and also on the withdrawal of practising privileges in the private healthcare sector. We offer a 30-minute free triage service to our clients at the outset of a case so that we can ensure that you set off on the right track for the issues.   

Post-pandemic we’re seeing an increasing number of serious issues being investigated from conduct to capability and also involving team breakdowns. We ensure that we keep fully informed of the current case law and guidance in this area and regularly advise on the duties of Responsible Officers and the issue of conflicts and grievances which can arise in the context of investigations.    

We offer bespoke training in this area for non-executive directors who may be involved in overseeing cases, Boards who wish to fully understand the risks of injunction that may be triggered under MHPS and for key stakeholders involved in these processes i.e. Case Managers, Case Investigators and supporting HR teams.

Legal 500 2022
"Bridget is astute and can identify the strengths and weaknesses in complex cases quickly and efficiently. Bridget is an outstanding and tactical practitioner who is able to position her clients like a Chessmaster to achieve great results time after time. She is head and shoulders above a very good rest at the firm."

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a continued focus on employee investigations in the healthcare sector covering issues such bullying and harassment arising from protected characteristics, complex employee-related investigations following the Ockenden Maternity Review through to whistleblowing (raising concerns) and sexual harassment. In a sector which has been severely impacted by a global shortage of employee talent, looking after your people by investigating these issues has become a key part of reputation management and retaining workforce talent.

We provide support to clients with the strategic case management of sensitive and high-profile investigations where the nature of the issues involved may have reputational or regulatory consequences for the organisation. This service includes supporting Commissioning or Case Managers, drafting Terms of Reference, responding to correspondence in the course of the investigation, advising and assisting with decision making following the investigation process to ensure that your response is in keeping with legal and regulatory requirements.

Supporting Sensitive and High-Profile Investigations

In some instances where the matter is particularly sensitive or complex or internal resource is simply stretched, organisations may require an investigation process to be conducted by an independent lawyer. We’re able to assist in sourcing a suitably experienced team of employment lawyers with experience of handling complex and sensitive investigations. 

We take a practical, common-sense approach, reaching conclusions and making recommendations without sitting on the fence and doing so in the most commercial and cost-effective way. Expect our lawyers to want to get to know you and your business. We are curious about understanding the context of your organisation and your business objectives as we appreciate that context is often key in conducting an even-handed fact-find into the concerns raised. 

Legal 500 2022
"The quality of work and thoroughness is exceptional. Their knowledge is fantastic and they always advise in a direct, straightforward manner that is easy to understand. They give me options where they exist and explain the benefits and downsides to both, in short they give me everything I need and expect."

Featured experience

Workforce sharing agreements

The pressing need for a flexible NHS workforce during the pandemic and the creation of Integrated Care Systems has led many of our clients to think differently about how they engage their workforce.  

Working with our clients in the health and social care sector, we have designed a suite of contractual agreements which allow employers to use staff more flexibly across different employing organisations. Not only does this create challenge and job satisfaction for employees but it also allows health and care organisations to meet peaks and troughs in service demand. Our documents have been used to staff virtual wards, create discharge hubs and vaccination hubs. It has also enabled clients to move away from the traditional use of honorary contracts to more appropriate workforce models such as workforce sharing agreements, data sharing agreements and licenses to attend.   

Advice on complex whistleblowing and grievance investigation

We worked with an NHS Trust dealing with a sensitive grievance and concerns raised by a member of staff under the Freedom to Speak Up route.  We have worked closely with the Trust in identifying suitable commissioning managers to oversee the investigation process ensuring that a suitably independent and trained investigator was appointed and also assisted with drafting complex Terms of Reference for the process to undertake the investigation.  

Our significant experience in this area has allowed us to provide both a legal and regulatory perspective which ensured that the Trust responded in accordance with the potential risk of legal action in an Employment Tribunal.  From the regulatory perspective, our advice was based on best practice guidance from the National Guardian’s office, relevant codes of practice and key aspects of learning from the recent West Suffolk review for the entire NHS.    

Working as part of a much wider health law team, we have been able to offer advice to our client regarding the GDPR and public law issues (defamation, injunction and privacy) alongside HR & employment advice. This has enabled the Trust to have assurance that serious concerns have been looked into and that any appropriate further processes under disciplinary, Dignity at Work or MHPS processes were kept under consideration as part of effective decision making.

Testimonials

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