Care Home Solicitors

As a care sector manager or owner, you clearly have a very demanding role. This is likely to become even more so as regulations and care sector issues are forecast to become even more demanding.

To stay on top of these demands, it will become increasingly important to obtain both practical and affordable legal advice.

This is where we can help.

Having worked with a large number of care sector managers and owners we have devised a comprehensive range of services which will save you time, effort, money and may even help you sleep better at night!

Property law

As commercial solicitors who know the care sector property market inside out, we will provide you with effective solutions to your property needs – whatever the size of your business.

We know the landscape of East Anglia very well and, with established links with local planning authorities, land agents, surveyors, architects and developers, our service is both comprehensive and has the all-important care sector focus.

Commercial law

Our involvement with your care business goes beyond just providing safe guidance.

Our commercially minded solicitors understand your opportunities and issue and provide practical outcome based advice covering, for example, company structure, company ownership, contracts of all kinds and buying or selling your care business.

We can help you to:

  • manage risk and safeguard your interests
  • avoid future disputes
  • protect key components of your business. For example, looking to help you with your duties and responsibilities as managers and directors of companies or as partners in a business.

Put simply, our commercial lawyers want you to get the best deal possible.

Regulatory

As a care provider you will need to comply, not only with the rules relating to regulated care activities, but with the vast array of other regulations with which a business must comply, such as H&S or GDPR. All these regulations are intended to keep people safe and to allow businesses to operate on a fair ‘level playing field’ environment, excluding or removing those who cannot or will not comply.

When assessing a care business, the CQC wants to see that the care services being provided are safe, effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs and that the organisation is well led. They are known as the ‘five key questions’.

Businesses should follow the ‘PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT’ approach recommended by the HSE.

This means:

  • your care business must understand its legal duties and risks.
  • operations cannot be left to run themselves – management systems must be in place
  • there should be ongoing routine and incident-led reporting to monitor performance and compliance
  • regular audit reviews should take place, implementing recommendations made.

The CQC has a number of different types of action it can take. It is vital to take very early advice to deal effectively with any inspection or investigation carried out by the CQC, or indeed any other regulatory body. We can help with interviews conducted under caution.

HR / Employment

Whether you are a stand-alone HR Manager working in a care home or a manager with no internal HR support, the team at Ashtons HR Consulting can provide you with tailored support.

Operating either on individual projects or on a retainer basis, our experienced team of HR professionals and employment lawyers will work with you to ensure that your people issues are handled in accordance with employment law and HR best practice.

In addition, we can deliver a range of training programmes (either workshop or bespoke) which are specifically designed for both HR and non HR managers working in the care sector.

CQC Audit

This consultancy service is available prior to a CQC inspection where we examine your internal procedures and processes, particularly measured against CQC requirements, to provide a practical implementation guide to substantially improve your likely CQC inspection rating. It also provides peace of mind that your current regime is compliant and highlights areas where change may be needed.

This service is also available after a CQC inspection where any adverse issues or criticisms can be addressed and put right, to ensure full CQC compliance as soon as possible and before any further regulatory action.

Should matters require additional specialist advice, we can also provide direct access to Paul Spencer a leading UK care sector barrister with vast experience of handling cases where CQC is investigating and taking enforcement action of any kind in relation to a care business registration.

GDPR

This new regulation (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect in May 2018 and all care homes need to take the appropriate steps now to comply.

GDPR places a strong emphasis on ensuring that privacy is at the heart of business decision making – “privacy by design’.’ This means that care sector businesses need to take into account and record how their new data processing activities may affect privacy.

We can:

  • undertake a data audit to identify what categories of personal data are held and processed
  • review the legal basis for processing data identified in the audit
  • draft new privacy notices
  • review your third party agreements
  • establish a procedure to detect, report and investigate data breaches
  • review and update internal policies
  • develop a staff awareness programme.

Dispute Resolution

If your care business becomes involved in a dispute, you need lawyers you can trust and who are tactically astute. At Ashtons Legal we mean business.

We will advise you in a clear and straightforward way to achieve the best solution, whether that be through the courts or by way of mediation.

We can help with:

  • commercial / contract disputes
  • commercial landlord and tenant disputes
  • commercial property disputes
  • shareholder disputes
  • partnership disputes
  • insolvency litigation
  • professional negligence claims
  • construction litigation, adjudication and arbitration
  • debt recovery.

Value Added Services

PR – Reputation Management

If your care sector business is facing a crisis, then managing your external communications is vital. We can devise and implement a media and communications strategy to enable you to get on top of the crisis and to minimize your business risk.