Community Treatment Orders: does seeing patients remotely suffice?

Jonathan Auburn and Lucy McCann assess whether decision-making as to community treatment orders requires physical attendance. Read more
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Feb 05, 2021

Government Legal Department forced to outsource legal services for Test and Trace due to Brexit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had to outsource legal services for its Test and Trace (T&T) programme last year because the Government Legal Department's resources were "increasingly being redeployed towards EU Exit", it has emerged.
Jan 27, 2021

Senior judge authorises giving Covid-19 vaccine to 80-year-old woman in care home despite objections of son

It was lawful and in the best interests of an 80-year-old care home resident with dementia and schizophrenia to be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite the objections of her son, the Vice-President of the Court of Protection has ruled.
Jan 25, 2021

Divisional Court finds Mental Health Act assessments require physical attendance and cannot be undertaken remotely

The phrases "personally seen" in s. 11(5) of the Mental Health Act 1983 and "personally examined" in s. 12(1) require the physical attendance of the person in question on the patient, the Divisional Court has clarified.
Jan 13, 2021

Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers issues guidance notes on vaccination and testing for Covid-19 and mental capacity

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers has published two rapid response guidance notes, covering mental capacity, vaccination and testing for Covid-19.
Jan 13, 2021

Government publishes White Paper on reforming Mental Health Act

The Government has published a white paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983, promising that its proposed changes would provide patients with greater choice and autonomy in a mental health crisis.
Jan 11, 2021

High Court judge dismisses challenge over lack of public consultation on NHS hospital reconfiguration in Hertfordshire

A High Court judge has dismissed a judicial review challenge over the reorganisation of hospital provision in Hertfordshire.
Dec 23, 2020

Health Secretary facing legal challenge over failure to provide sight-impaired people with shielding information in accessible format

A blind woman has brought a legal challenge over the government’s alleged failure to provide her with accessible shielding information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dec 15, 2020

London borough threatens Health Secretary with legal action over plans to downgrade hospital

Merton Council has sent a pre-action letter to the Health Secretary over his decision not to order a full independent review into plans to close the accident and emergency department and consultant-led maternity services at St Helier Hospital.
Dec 14, 2020

Law firm sends letter before claim to Health Secretary over vaccine access of individuals with learning disabilities

A letter before claim was last week sent to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, calling for individuals with learning disabilities to be granted priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine on an equal basis with other highly vulnerable adults.
Dec 14, 2020

NHS procurement consortium to re-procure legal services framework agreement

The NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) isto re-procure its framework agreement for the provision of legal services.


February 05, 2021

Ripping up the Mental Health Act - the journey continues

The Government has published a white paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983, promising that its proposed changes would provide patients with greater choice and autonomy in a mental health crisis. Sophy Miles sets out the key points.
December 22, 2020

Consulting on new policies

The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct tests to apply to determine whether: (1) a public body has consulted fairly; and (2) is under a legitimate expectation to consult. Matthew Alderton analyses the ruling.
December 22, 2020

New local authority Covid enforcement powers

Gary Grant analyses the new enforcement tools that allow local authorities in England to take action against premises that do not comply with COVID-secure rules.
December 20, 2020

The Tier 4 Regulations: impact on businesses

Gary Grant sets out the key points for businesses from the Government's regulations implementing the new Tier 4.
November 27, 2020

Vaccinations for children

When it comes to vaccinations for children, what happens when there is disagreement either between parents or between parents and the local authority? Sophia Stapleton looks at the legal background.
November 13, 2020

The inherent jurisdiction, deprivation of liberty and out of hours applications

The Court of Appeal recently set out seven lessons for judges and practitioners in cases where urgent applications without notice are made, after concluding that a disabled man had his human rights breached. Alex Ruck Keene analyses the ruling.
November 06, 2020

DHSC care home visiting guidance

The Department for Health and Social Care has published its eagerly awaited care home visiting guidance for England. Alex Ruck Keene sets out the key points.
November 04, 2020

The Lockdown 2 Regulations

Gary Grant and Charles Holland summarise the key points from the regulations implementing the latest national lockdown.


Dec 09, 2020

Council holds off legal challenge over Tier 3 status for now after receiving response from government lawyers to pre-action letter

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has ruled out a judicial review challenge “at this stage” over ministers’ decision to place it in Tier 3 on the lifting of the latest lockdown, after the Government Legal Department responded to its pre-action letter.
Dec 01, 2020

Council sends pre-action protocol letter after being placed in Tier 3

A district council is to bring a judicial review challenge over the Government's decision to put it into Tier 3 after the current lockdown restrictions end.
Dec 01, 2020

High Court gives permission for legal challenge to decision to close hospital A&E department temporarily as part of plans for Covid-safe “Green Site”

A High Court judge has given permission for a legal challenge over a decision to close Grantham and District Hospital’s A&E department and replace it with an urgent care centre until at least 31 March 2021.
Nov 20, 2020

Regulator of health and care professions to procure £5.9m legal services panel

The Health and Care Professions Council has given notice of its intention to procure a three-lot legal services panel worth an estimated £5.9m.
Nov 06, 2020

Police arrest gym owner on suspicion of breaching COVID lockdown regulations, council issues venue with prohibition notice

Essex Police have arrested a gym owner in Harlow on suspicion of breaching coronavirus legislation.
Nov 04, 2020

Good Law Project and Runnymede Trust send pre-action letter over appointment of head of National Institute for Health Protection

The Good Law Project is seeking to raise £100,000 for a legal challenge to the appointment of Baroness Harding to head the National Institute for Health Protection.
Oct 29, 2020

Court of Appeal identifies lessons on out of hours applications after disabled man sees human rights breached

The Court of Appeal has set out seven lessons for judges and practitioners in cases where urgent applications without notice are made, after concluding that a disabled man had his human rights breached.
Oct 26, 2020

Damning CQC report calls for improved community-based capacity, pooled budgets and new national specialist commissioner of complex care

A Care Quality Commission review has found “undignified and inhumane” care in some hospital settings providing complex care for autistic people, and people with a learning disability and/or mental health condition.
Oct 13, 2020

Individuals affected by Ealing abortion clinic PSPO look to take case to European Court of Human Rights

Two individuals affected by the imposition of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which created a "buffer zone" around an abortion clinic in Ealing, have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, Landmark Chambers has reported.
Oct 13, 2020

Care watchdog to review use of DNACPR during pandemic

The Care Quality Commission is to review how Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions were used during the coronavirus pandemic.
Oct 08, 2020

Government issues guidance on COVID-19 secure marshals, stresses the role has no enforcement powers

The Government has issued guidance on how the £30m allocated to district and unitary authorities for COVID-19 related compliance and enforcement activities should be spent.
Oct 07, 2020

Council hits beauty salon with closure notice over failure to have adequate COVID-19 controls in place

Sefton Council has issued a closure notice on a beauty salon over its failure to put in place adequate controls and measures required to make the premises COVID-secure.
Oct 07, 2020

Bevan Brittan recruits two partners to its Independent Health & Social Care practice

Bevan Brittan has boosted its Independent Health & Social Care practice with the hire of Sarah Skuse and Siwan Griffiths as partners in the London office.
Oct 05, 2020

Woman jailed after forging court order in bid to obtain medical records of relative subject to Court of Protection proceedings

A woman has been sentenced to an immediate term of imprisonment of 12 months after a High Court judge found she had forged a purported court order and sent it to an NHS trust with the intention of obtaining the medical confidential records of a relative, despite the court refusing to direct this.
Oct 02, 2020

Health and safety watchdog to prosecute NHS trust

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to prosecute Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) following an investigation into North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEPUFT).
Sep 17, 2020

Government upholds decision by council to issue direction cancelling international boat show

The Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Nadine Dorries MP, has upheld Southampton City Council’s decision to issue a direction which cancelled the Southampton International Boat Show (Boats 2020).
Sep 15, 2020

Health and care workers report lack of legal training on how to uphold human rights law during COVID-19: BIHR

More than three quarters (76%) of people working in health and care who responded to a call for evidence told the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) that during COVID-19 they were not provided with legal training or clear information about upholding human rights law.
Aug 28, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses council and claimants permission for appeal over Kent stroke services reconfiguration

The Court of Appeal has refused permission to appeal a High Court ruling dismissing a judicial review challenge to a stroke services review in Kent.
Aug 20, 2020

Health and care regulator to engage with market ahead of procurement of £6m legal services framework

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has given notice of its intention to procure a legal services framework worth up to £6m over five years.
Aug 10, 2020

LGA calls for temporary public health or COVID-19 objective in Licensing Act

The Local Government Association has called for councils to be given the powers to close down pubs and other licensed premises which are failing to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Jul 30, 2020

The Mental Health Act, s117 after-care and ordinary residence

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers explain the background to the government's change of approach to ordinary residence for s.117 after-care.
Jul 22, 2020

Watchdogs in Wales to consider using their powers to scrutinise decisions and actions taken by public bodies in relation to older people during pandemic

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales are to consider whether the Welsh Government and public bodies in Wales have met their responsibilities to uphold the human rights of older people during COVID-19.
Jul 20, 2020

Government admits failure to carry out Data Protection Impact Assessment for ‘Test and Trace’ programme

The Government has admitted, following a legal challenge from a privacy campaigning organisation, that it deployed the COVID-19 'Test and Trace' programme without carrying out a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) beforehand.
Jul 18, 2020

Government issues guidance for councils on use of new powers to impose local shutdowns in response to COVID-19 outbreaks

The Government has issued guidance for local authorities in England on what the new local shutdown regulations allow them to do, how they should exercise those powers and how those powers should be enforced.
Jul 16, 2020

Implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards delayed until April 2022

Implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), the scheme designed to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), has been put back until April 2022, the Government has confirmed.


October 22, 2020

Winter Plan: Impact on the deprivation of liberty safeguards

In the third in a series of articles by barristers at 39 Essex Chambers on the Winter Plan, Neil Allen considers whether the government's guidance on self-isolation constitutes a deprivation of liberty for those with reduced capacity.
October 15, 2020

The Winter Plan and the right to family life

In the second of a three-part series from 39 Essex Chambers on the Government’s Adult Social Care: COVID-19 Winter Plan 2020-2021, Steve Broach looks at the implications for the right to respect for private and family life.
October 08, 2020

Department for Health and Social Care Winter Guidance: issues for local authorities

Siân Davies provides an overview of the Department of Health and Social Care (non-statutory) guidance issued on 18 September 2020.
September 17, 2020

Do local authorities have the power to impose a full scale local 'lockdown'? UPDATED

Christopher Bevan examines the powers available to local authorities particularly under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 in providing a local public health response to the incidence and spread of coronavirus.
September 15, 2020

The "Rule of 6" Coronavirus Regulations

Gary Grant sets out the key elements of the government's new 'Rule of 6' regulations.
September 10, 2020

Continuous supervision and control

Alex Ruck Keene analyses a further judicial take on deprivation of liberty.
August 06, 2020

Continuing care decisions and children

A claimant recently brought a successful irrationality challenge to an NHS continuing care decision. Michael Armitage and Ciar McAndrew explain how.
August 05, 2020

Local authorities and local lockdown

Tiffany Cloynes examines the powers that local authorities in England have been given to introduce local lockdown measures to tackle local outbreaks of the coronavirus.
July 30, 2020

Alcohol and capacity

A recent case heard by the Vice President of the Court of Protection, Hayden J, raises three important points about the interpretation and application of sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (‘MCA’) in the context of alcohol addiction, writes Tony Harrop-Griffths.
July 30, 2020

COVID-19, care settings and deprivations of liberty

Rebecca Gowling analyses whether Care Quality Commission data suggests a rise in unauthorised deprivations of liberty.
July 03, 2020

Amendments in procurement disputes

The High Court has adopted a permissive approach to amendments in a procurement dispute, write Emily Heard and Kyle Duggan.
May 04, 2020

DNACPR orders during coronavirus

Victoria Mortimer examines issues around care planning and the use of DNACPR orders in the current crisis.
April 24, 2020

Standards of care during COVID-19

What standard of care should hospitals be held to in the COVID-19 outbreak? James Todd QC and Emma Corkill look at the key considerations.
April 20, 2020

R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups

David Lock QC and David Blundell QC explain the background, arguments and consequences of R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups and others in a series of podcasts.
April 14, 2020

Articles 3 and 8 in the time of coronavirus

Arianna Kelly looks at a new case with significant implications for local authorities using the Care Act ‘easements’.
April 09, 2020

The European Commission on public procurement during COVID-19

The European Commission has published a Communication “Guidance on using the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the COVID-19 crisis”. Susie Smith examines what it has to say.
April 02, 2020

A life worth living

Nageena Khalique QC looks at Mostyn J's judgment in a novel case concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment in the Court of Protection’s first ever Skype trial.
March 30, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds lawfulness of NHS Avastin choice policy for wet AMD patients

A policy of 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to recommend that NHS clinicians should offer patients a choice between two licensed medicines and a cheaper drug for a treatment was confirmed as lawful following the Court of Appeal's dismissal of an appeal brought by pharmaceutical companies. David Lock QC and David Blundell QC analyse the judgment.
March 19, 2020

Covid-19: Court of Protection guidance on visiting P and hearings

The Court of Protection has issued two important pieces of guidance in the last two days, writes Jonathan Auburn.
March 06, 2020

Not only inimical… but potentially fatal: medical treatment cases and delay

A recent case shows how important it is that doctors and other professionals are supported within their organisations to understand the points at which they need to consider an application to the Court of Protection, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.