Spring social care seminars – a review

Integral to our commitment to the health and social care sector is the provision of free high quality education and training on legal topics for the sector. It was in that vein that we welcomed more than 100 people – mainly social care providers – to our Spring social care seminars held in Harrogate and Manchester.

Our specialists provided presentations on key aspects of the regulatory environment that social care providers must operate within. Philippa Doyle, Associate, explained key changes coming into force in May 2018 in data protection law, and explained the implications of the new General Data Protection Regulation to providers and what it means for them and their businesses.

As a result of this presentation Philippa has been invited to give a number of presentations to individual businesses who are keen to ensure that they are ready for the new regime. Data security is and will remain a key issue upon which providers need to ensure they have robust systems and processes, and it is an area that CQC will be inspecting and monitoring once the new Regulation is in force.

Fiona Easton-Lawrence, Solicitor and Helen Edwards, Associate spoke about the Care Act 2014 and safeguarding responsibilities: a number of providers have experienced difficulty with some Local Authorities who have not shared allegations or reached disproportionate or unjustified conclusions and there was discussion as to how these issues can be tackled within the context of the applicable legal framework, which is now on a statutory footing.

Adam Hartrick, Partner and Head of the Advisory teams in the North spoke to the audience about a recent case involving CQC, setting out for providers steps that CQC must take in relation to challenges to the factual accuracy of inspection reports, and there was lively discussion as to different experiences that participants were willing to share.

We were particularly pleased that Kathryn Reid, Regional CQC Inspection Manager attended, with two of her colleagues, and they gave a presentation setting out how CQC seek to regulate so as to inspire improvement by setting clear expectations, monitoring and inspecting and rating services, celebrating success and tackling failure.

Statistics were shared setting out the numbers of services that had been rated, noting that about two thirds of nursing homes had been rated as good or outstanding – a lower proportion than domiciliary care agencies or residential homes where there appear to be a greater number of good or outstanding services. Kathryn and her team explained that they are looking to assess a service by how it makes individuals feel – drawing on the famous Maya Angelou saying: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Particularly well received by the audience was the willingness on the part of Kathryn and her team to take questions, which they duly did, and answered a vast number both in the main session but also in discussions that attendees were able to have with them before the seminar and during the refreshments break. Hempsons are grateful to Kathryn and her team for their willingness to present and participate in our seminar.

Our Autumn programme will, by popular request, include a dedicated session on employment law with updates focussed to the social care sector: the operation of the deprivation of liberty safeguards and recent legal developments in this arena: and we will take a look (with the help of an external speaker) at the market in the sector from a commercial perspective. We look forward to welcoming you.

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