Key COVID-19 legal developments in social care

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Key COVID-19 legal developments in social care

Published 5 junio 2020

In light of the national COVID19 emergency, our social care sector clients are under enormous pressure, facing a range of decisions that need to be made at pace, with a backdrop of emerging guidance and legal frameworks.

We have sought to summarise some of the key developments to date, whether they relate to issues relating to admissions into social care services, PPE, RIDDOR reporting requirements, management of claims risks right through to implications for Coroner’s Inquests.

We have produced a short form practical guide on many of the key legal issues as part of our commitment to knowledge sharing with the sector, and with guidance being produced very regularly, we will endeavour to keep this updated. However, this is not legal advice and if you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact us via the details given at the bottom of each page.

1. Managing admissions, readmissions, discharges and transfers within the Care Sector

We have been considering some of the key guidance and publications relating to admissions, readmissions, discharges and transfers affecting the care sector during the current pandemic. Read more.

2. Covid-19 personal protective equipment (‘PPE’)

Health and social care providers are dealing with a number of issues relating to the use of PPE and the implications of the guidance issued by Public Health England in respect of PPE. We discuss the headline guidance, recent updates and what this means in practice for Providers. Read more here.

3. RIDDOR Reporting Requirements

The Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) has issued guidance in relation to when organisations are required to make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) in relation to Covid-19 related incidents. Read more here.

4. Covid-19 - Consideration of potential areas for EL/PL claims

Emerging information from key clients in the commercial and health and social care sectors and our observation of Claimant behaviours around Covid-19 suggest that EL/PL claims are likely to follow. We have broken down some of the key issues relating to these potential claims. Read more here.

5. Mental Health Providers: the challenges so far

Providers are dealing with many challenges in managing the legal and regulatory framework with particular issues relating to Hospital Managers, Tribunals, leave, facilitating discharge and the practicalities of managing patients (both informal and detained) through the recently introduced ‘lock down’.

Guidance has been issued in a variety of areas much of which focuses on the practical issues from a service provider perspective. Read more here.

6. Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

Whilst amendments to the Mental Health Act have been passed in the Coronavirus Act (though not yet implemented), no amendments were contained in the Act in relation to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). However, guidance has now been given (9.4.2020) by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) (the Guidance) to apply only during the pandemic. Read more here.

7. New Competition Order to allow for enhanced co-operation between healthcare providers in the fight against Covid-19

On 28 March, the Competition Act 1998 ( Health Services for Patients in England ) (Coronavirus ) ( Public Policy Exclusion Order ) 2020 (‘Order’) came into force. The Order allows for wide-ranging co-operation between NHS and/or independent providers, without having to worry about competition rules, provided that the related agreement fulfils certain conditions of the Order. Read more here.

8. Impact on the Care Sector

A review of the legislative changes and issues facing the Care Sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.

9. CQC Regulation and Covid-19

We review and summarise the guidance so far issued by CQC designed to ease the burden of regulation for health and social care providers during the current pandemic. Read more here.

10. Covid-19 Deaths and Possible Exposure in the workplace - Chief Coroners Guidance no 37

The Chief Coroner published new guidance on 28 April 2020 to assist Coroners exercise their judicial decisions with particular reference to Covid19 deaths following potential exposure in the workplace. Read more here.

Key Contacts

Anna Hart

Anna Hart

Newcastle

+44 (0)191 404 4177

Tracey Longfield

Tracey Longfield

Leeds

+44 (0)113 251 4922

Louise Watson-Jones

Louise Watson-Jones

Newcastle

+44 (0)191 404 4093

Ruth Winterbottom

Ruth Winterbottom

Leeds

+44 (0)113 251 4856

Stan Campbell

Stan Campbell

Bristol

+44 (0) 117 918 2179

James Reed

James Reed

Bristol

+44 (0)117 918 2309

Sarah Dobson

Sarah Dobson

Bristol

+44 (0)117 918 2233