Primary Care Trust (PCT) clients want to avoid challenges to their eligibility criteria and its implementation. Where challenges do occur, they need to be resolved quickly. Only lawyers who have extensive experience of advising on the implementation and lawfulness of eligibility criteria can achieve this. Procedure in individual cases is extremely important, with the threat of human rights claims attached to it. Examples of our work include successfully ensuring that a PCT was not joined into Judicial Review with the Local Authority in relation to a complex care package and assisting PCTs in their retrospective reviews and preparing responses to the Health Services Ombudsman. We also acted for North and East Devon HA in the seminal Coughlin Case.
Our advice has extended to facilitating the discharge of patients from acute and community hospitals into the community, the relevance and effect of the Delayed Discharges Regulations and the inter-relationship between section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and continuing care eligibility, in partnership with the DH guidance “Who Pays: Establishing a Responsible Commissioner”.
Our experience also includes assisting PCTs to manage the needs of patients currently funded through Direct Payments and to facilitate ongoing support via the same carers when their needs increase to healthcare funding.
In the area of development of children’s services , we are supported by our Children's Law Group, which has been specifically developed to meet the challenges facing children’s services as Children’s Trusts become a reality. In the field of mental health, we are experienced in the interface between acute and community mental health services, liaison psychiatry and health and social services. We recognise the need to be sensitive to working structures and have considerable experience of managing the potential division between different agencies for the purposes of our clients’ needs.