The health and care sector is highly regulated and the quality regulators, CQC and Ofsted (and their counterparts in Wales and the rest of the UK) have wide and far-reaching powers.
Both CQC and Ofsted issue quality ratings. Where there are significant shortfalls, the regulators can utilise regulatory powers, including civil enforcement action to suspend or prohibit trading altogether and criminal prosecutions. New Sentencing Guidelines mean prosecutions now carry the risk of substantial fines for providers.
We see them so frequently, they are very well connected lawyers.
We advise and report on a wide range of healthcare regulatory and health commercial issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions, re-financing and joint ventures and partnerships. As well as a review of the legal risks, we can provide consideration of operational risks and performance utilising specialist health and social care consultants.
Our reporting provides clarity about the nature of the regulatory risks involved. For vendors, our reports provide clear information to support the sales process; if serious issues are identified, we can assist clients in resolving them. For purchasers we provide clarity as to what is being acquired, the potential risks and their likely practical significance, and the steps which can be taken to mitigate those risks.
Our experience in the sector includes involvement in the follow key cases:
- Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry – which carried out the most wide-reaching review of regulatory structures impacting on the care sector.
- Winterbourne View – a Serious Case Review into the failings of multi-agency involvement in the case concerning serious abuses at the service for adults with learning disability.
- St Anne’s Community - the first CQC prosecution of a provider under the Fundamental Standards
We have an extensive understanding of the commissioning and procurement frameworks within which health and social care businesses operate.
Our due diligence reporting includes:
- whether appropriate registrations with service regulators (eg CQC) are in place
- compliance with requisite standards
- Inspection ratings, findings and action plans
- the status and potential outcomes of any enforcement action being taken
- the implications of Monitor licensing for independent health sector providers
- issues under other regulatory regimes:
- Health and Safety
- pharmacies and medicines regulation
- Safeguarding investigations
- Inquiries and independent reviews
- data protection and information governance
- vetting and barring of workers
- Review of providers’ internal processes for quality governance and risk management
- Contractual due diligence
- Employment issues:
- employment policies and terms and conditions
- performance management and employment litigation,
- pensions issues.
Due diligence on the acquisition of 10 independent sector acute hospitals by Spire Healthcare.
Advising Advent International on its purchase of the provider of health, social care and specialist education services.
Advising Advent International on its acquisition of the UK wide Priory Group of mental health, specialist care and education services.
Acorn Care and Education
Due diligence on the re-financing of a leading provider of fostering services and schools for children with learning disability.
Advice on acquisition of independent fostering agency in England and Wales, by Fostering Solutions.
Advice on sale to Four Seasons Health Care.
European Care Group
Due diligence advice to bidder on proposed acquisition of care home group.
Due diligence advice to bidder on proposed acquisition of mental health provider
Due diligence advice to bidder on proposed acquisition of 22 Priory and Partnerships in Care mental health facilities
Oasis Dental Care
Due diligence advice to bidder on proposed acquisition of over 380 UK dental practices.