Tag: Legal Issues
Provider representative body Care England, in the face of opposition from Essex Council, is proceeding to judicial review of the fee rates Essex pays to independent care home providers.
The judicial review brought by Care England seeks to challenge the lawfulness of the Council’s fee setting decision in respect of the ‘old contract’ and its refusal to review the rates under the ‘new contract’.
Care England believes the Council’s actions to date to be a breach of its responsibilities under the Care Act 2014.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the association was deeply concerned about the Council’s conduct towards the care home market within Essex and as a result, the sustainability of that market.
“This is an important challenge in support of providers in Essex and those new and existing residents receiving care,” said Prof. Green.
Caring Times, January 2017
Organisations representing and providing services for older and vulnerable people have jointly raised concerns around the Government’s online tool for creating Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
An LPA is a powerful legal document which allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness such as dementia.
In May 2014, the Government’s Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) launched its online LPA tool, which it claims allows people to create the documents without the need for professional advice from a solicitor.
But a new report, published by a coalition of organisations led by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), warns that anyone creating an LPA without taking specialist legal advice faces a significantly higher risk of being left with … Read More »
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into care homes for elderly people, to assess how well the market works, and whether people are being treated fairly.
CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said that, as well as looking at reports of potentially unfair practices and contract terms being used by some care homes, the study would also evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers, and would also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.
“We want to hear from care home providers about the services they offer and any challenges they face,” said Ms Coscelli.
Views are welcomed on any of the issues raised in the Statement of Scope – https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/care-homes-market-study … Read More »
A proposed amendment to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) legislation has been welcomed by care providers representative body Care England. Speaking at Care England’s annual conference in November, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, chair of National Capacity Forum, said a change to the Policing and Crime Bill, initially proposed by Ann Coffey MP and supported by the Government, amends the meaning of state detention in Section 48 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green explained the significance of the proposed change.
“Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are designed to keep people safe, but they have long been a bone of contention with the care home sector and families owing to the unintended consequence meaning if someone is subject to a DoLS, their death must be investigated,” said Prof. Green.
“This means that older people with dementia, whose deaths … Read More »
The Care Quality commission has published information for people living in care homes, their family and friends clarifying their visiting rights and the regulator’s expectations of providers who are responsible for ensuring people are supported to maintain relationships that are important to them.
CQC chief inspector of adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said the regulator was aware of cases where relatives had experienced visiting restrictions, or their loved ones being forced to leave against their wishes, after raising concerns with those in charge of running care homes.
“In response to these concerns, and in partnership with partners, we have developed this focused information to help people feel better informed and make sure providers are very clear about their obligations,” said Ms Sutcliffe.
“Care homes are people’s homes. They, their family and friends should not live in fear of being penalised for raising concerns
“Good … Read More »
DAVID EDWARDS,associate solicitor and head of the healthcare and regulatory teams at Harrison Drury Solicitors looks at a recent case involving BUPA Care Homes.
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In May this, Bupa Care Homes (CFC Homes) Ltd were brought before Carlisle Magistrates Court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in consequence of an incident involving bedrails in which a resident died at one the company’s care homes. Bupa was fined £400,000 with costs of £15,206.
The Court found that the company had failed to ensure that the resident’s bedrail assessment was suitable and sufficient, or that staff were adequately trained in bedrail risk assessments. They Court said reviews of bedrail assessment should have identified further measures to prevent the risk of falls, but staff who carried out the initial assessment and reviews were not adequately trained. It also found that measures identified to protect … Read More »
RadcliffesLeBrasseur partner JONNY LANDAU says there is much to be welcomed in the Law Commission’s amended proposals for changes to the law regarding mental capacity and deprivation of liberty.
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The Law Commission has published an interim statement about its proposals regarding mental capacity and deprivation of liberty. There is much to be welcomed.
The initially proposed supportive care scheme, which would have applied to people who lack capacity but are not being deprived of their liberty, has been abandoned. In the context of care homes, perhaps not many people would have been caught by the regime because those who lack capacity are also very often not free to leave, and so are deprived of their liberty under the Cheshire West test. However, requiring care homes to assess whether the person falls into one of two possible legal schemes … Read More »
By PETER GROSE solicitor, Lester Aldridge www.lesteraldridge.com 01202 786135
Deprivation of liberty of service users who lack mental capacity to consent to care arrangements can be problematic for care providers and local authorities. In care homes and hospitals, managers must apply to the local authority for authorisation under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. In supported living settings, local authorities must apply to the Court of Protection to authorise a deprivation of liberty in relation to care packages they arrange. However, it has been less clear whether local authorities are responsible for ensuring authorisation in relation to care packages they have not arranged, such as supported living settings or domiciliary care services that are entirely privately funded, e.g. through court awarded damages following a catastrophic accident.
The recent Court of Protection case of Staffordshire County Council v SKR (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2016/27.html) has now provided some … Read More »
A nursing home in County Antrim has been fined £15,000 for breaking the law by not looking after the sensitive personal details in its care.
An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found widespread systemic failings in data protection at Whitehead Nursing Home at the time of a data breach.
The breach came when a member of staff took an unencrypted work laptop home, which was stolen during a burglary overnight. The laptop contained sensitive personal details relating to 46 staff including reasons for sickness absence and information about disciplinary matters. It also held some details about 29 residents including their date of birth, mental and physical health and ‘do not resuscitate’ status.
Ken Macdonald, Head of ICO Regions, said the nursing home had put its employees and residents at risk by failing to follow basic procedures to properly manage and look … Read More »
By NICOLE RIDGWELL Solicitor, Ridouts Professional Services
www.ridout-law.com 020 7317 0340
In its updated version of the Provider Handbook for Residential adult social care services, April 2016, the Care Quality Commission has clarified the position on re-inspection timeframes. The previous wording having been somewhat ambiguous, the new handbook confirms that services rated overall ‘inadequate’ (and therefore automatically subject to the Special Measures regime) “will normally have a comprehensive inspection within six months of the last comprehensive inspection report being published”. In the former wording, it was arguable that a service with an ‘inadequate’ rating would be re-inspected within six months of the initial visit as opposed to six months from publication of the report.
The Provider Handbook sets out the rationale for Special Measures:
• Ensuring that providers found to be providing inadequate care significantly improve.
• Providing a framework within which CQC use their … Read More »