Social care

Supporting and advising social care providers in relation to all aspects of their business activities

The inter-relationship between healthcare commissioners and providers and social care provision is complex and Hempsons is uniquely placed to advise on governance and provision in these integrated sectors.

Key services and issues

Supporting care homes and domiciliary care providers, we have successfully achieved a review and increase in care home fees where a Local Authority failed to properly assess a fair price for care and sought to adopt a similar approach for domiciliary care provides. Read more here.

We have particular expertise working for care home and social care providers challenging CQC inspection reports where a report is not a fair description of a service and challenging Local Authorities in relation to the management and scope of safeguarding investigations and infection control audits.

We have recently advised on funding responsibilities of health and social care providers, displacement of a nearest relative pursuant to the Mental Health Act and Section 117 responsibilities. The team have also advised a Local Authority in relation to issues concerning a 19 year old who lacks capacity, pursuing welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection. Section 75 agreements are another area where Hempsons has established expertise. We have worked on a number of agreements between Commissioners and Local Authorities in relation to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, utilising the expertise of our social care, mental health and commercial teams.

Our commercial contracting, procurement, dispute resolution, employment and regulatory expertise come together to deliver a full package of support to social care providers, ranging from interviews under caution for alleged mismanagement of clients monies, to allegations of defamation against Local Authority staff who were alleged to be discouraging service users from utilising a particular provider agency.

We have assisted in the set up of provider forum organisations to bring providers together, provided training on fundamental standards of care and the duty of candour, addressed zero hours contracts and disciplinary matters with staff. We provide proactive guidance and support to providers, most recently in engaging with the proposed national living wage.

We support social care providers with information governance issues, represent providers at Inquests and manage contractual negotiations and disputes. Our real estate team support providers with a full range of estate management support from sale and purchase of a care home to leases of independent living properties.

Whatever support a social care provider needs, we have a team who can deliver.

Hempsons operates a successful free advice line for social care providers.

The social care team at Hempsons is well placed to assist with a wide range of legal issues including areas such as CQC inspections and CQC reports, employment issues, local authority safeguarding alerts and disputes with local authorities.

Hempsons’ social care advice line is open between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and offers up to 15 minutes of valuable preliminary advice on a range of issues social care providers face including:

  • Regulatory expertise
  • Health and safety
  • Employment and HR law
  • Real estate
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Dispute resolution

Associate Philippa Doyle commented: “Social care providers are working in an increasingly challenging market and come across a whole range of issues often linked to regulatory bodies or management of staff. We find that on many occasions a telephone call to a specialist lawyer who understands their environment, and has come across similar issues, is able to offer not only useful advice, but can quickly give some peace of mind.

 

With increasing integration between health and social care, the benefit of talking to a solicitor from Hempsons is not only their expertise in specific areas of law, but also a full understanding of the NHS and wider political environment you operate in.

To access the Advice Line simply call 01423 724056 quoting ‘social care advice line’ or email socialcare@hempsons.co.uk.

Helpful links:

Independent Care Group – ICG is the recognised representative body for independent care providers (private and voluntary) in York and North Yorkshire.


Association for Real Change – a leading umbrella body representing service providers in the learning disability sector.

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