A quarterly update summarising recent Government publications, legislation, cases and other developments relevant to those involved in the care sector:



Social Care


Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce This guidance is for anyone who works in adult social care. It provides advice on how you can manage your personal mental health in the current circumstances.

COVID-19 response: Identifying a clinical lead for all care homes A letter has been sent to CCGs reminding teams to identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area.

Supporting compassionate visiting arrangements for those receiving care at the end of life Guidance focused on supporting compassionate visiting arrangements for those receiving care at the end of life has been published.

Preventing and managing the Covid-19 pandemic across long-term care services in the WHO European Region. This identifies 10 policy objectives for decision-makers, to prevent and manage the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care settings. The focus is on older people above the age of 65 years who use long-term care services in their homes, day centres or designated facilities (residential homes and nursing homes).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care How local authorities and social care providers can tell DHSC about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): providing home care This document brings together guidance for social care staff, registered providers, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes in England. It covers: personal protective equipment; shielding and care groups; hospital discharge and testing; government support for social care; and information collection and governance.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements Sets out how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the coronavirus situation.



Coronavirus (Covid-19): antibody tests The government has announced the start of a major new national antibody testing programme, with plans to provide antibody tests to NHS and care staff in England from the end of May. This guidance gives information on the programme. An accompanying infographic shows the differences between COVID-19 tests.

COVID-19: guidance on infection control precautions. This guidance provides advice on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for patients recovering or recovered from COVID-19 and remaining in hospital, or being discharged to their own home or residential care.

Covid-19 CQC insight: Focusing on adult social care, the paper reviews data on outbreaks, deaths and availability of PPE, and in particular highlights the impact of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing and the financial viability of adult social care services.

Spotlight on recent NHS discharges into care homes This briefing sets out how national guidance around NHS discharges into care homes developed in March and April 2020, how trusts sought to support care homes during this period and why trusts refute the suggestion that they 'systematically' and 'knowingly' transferred known COVID-19 patients into care homes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care. Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Department for Health and Social Care – Support for care homes. This document sets out the steps that must be taken to keep people in care homes safe, and the support that will be brought together across national and local government to help care providers put this into practice.

Surviving the Pandemic: New challenges for Adult Social Care and the Social Care Market, a Discussion Paper by Professor John Bolton. This discussion paper explores challenges that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the care provider might survive.

Ombudsman issues guidance to councils and care providers The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued guidance to those working for local authorities and care providers about good administrative practice and handling complaints during the COVID-19 crisis. 

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol COVID-19 guidance for commissioners and service providers for those dependent on drugs or alcohol.

App for Social Care workers

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Bevan Brittan Updates

Briefing Note: Letter of 14 May 2020 - Minister of State for Care. As well as the practicalities of providing care during the current COVID-19 crisis, care home providers will be acutely aware that they are currently subject to many demands for information, including daily reports to CQC via the Capacity Tracker. On top of that care home providers will be contacted by their local authorities for information, as set out below. Care homes should do all they can to cooperate with this, as the data gathered will allow Local Authorities to release funding from the Infection Control Fund.


We're here to help

For further assistance on coronavirus issues, our COVID-19 Advisory Service is now available.

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Public Health England – Updated guidance on isolation for residential educational settings Guidance to support management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and children’s social care. The guidance covers the definition of household in residential settings, visitor policy and self-isolation, among others.

Department for Education: Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening Guidance for special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND)

Children of the pandemic: policies needed to support children during the Covid-19 crisis. This report examines how COVID-19 is affecting children. It covers topics including mental health, childcare issues, school closures, social interactions and access to food.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): SEND risk assessment guidance Risk assessment guidance for special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. This advice is to help adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Bevan Brittan Updates

Special Educational Needs and Disability - A New Plan is Urgently Needed.

Briefing: Department for Education announces support package for higher education

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Liability Claims


Coronavirus outbreak indemnity The updated FAQs published by NHS Resolution on the COVID-19 outbreak indemnity includes information which is relevant to community pharmacists, including those returning to the profession to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



(1)GMC (2) Professional Standards Authority for Health & Social Care v Asef Zafar [2020] EWHC 846 (Admin) The 12-month suspension of a GP, who had provided a medical report containing false statements and a dishonest statement for use in personal injury litigation, was replaced with the sanction of erasure from the register. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal had decided the case on a misleading basis, as it had not had the benefit of a recent Court of Appeal decision dealing with the doctor's contempt of court, which provided the most authoritative judicial guidance on the doctor's misconduct.  


Bevan Brittan Updates

Vicariously liable? Depends on the relationship. Two recent Supreme Court decisions have helped to clarify the law on vicarious liability and are relevant both to businesses who use independent contractors and their insurers.

When a Claimant refuses examination by the Defendant’s expert.

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NHS test and trace: workplace guidance This guidance explains how employers and businesses can play their part in the NHS test and trace programme, developed to manage the risk of the virus re-emerging as restrictions on everyday life are eased, as far as it is deemed safe to do so.

NHS Employers – New guidance on risk assessments for staff Guidance for employers on how to carry out risk assessments particularly for vulnerable groups, to understand the specific risks staff members face from exposure to COVID-19 and actions which employers can take to keep staff safe.


Bevan Brittan Updates

COVID-19: The Transition Back to Work. Government Guidance on Working Safely During COVID-19 and Changes to the Furlough Scheme.

Video: Managing disciplinary and grievance processes during COVID-19. In partnership with the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA), Yasmin Allan, Associate at Bevan Brittan, provides guidance on the options, risks and practical issues when managing disciplinary and grievance processes during the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 - Additional Death in Service Payment for Health and Care Workers. What's available for the independent and third sectors?

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Mental Health


The CQC has made changes to Mental Health Act complaints process. In response to the COVID-19 crisis CQC has made changes to the way they respond to people contacting them with a complaint about the Mental Health Act.

Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic, financial inequality and mental health This briefing discusses the mental health effects of financial inequalities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws evidence from the Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic research – a UK-wide, long-term study of how the pandemic is affecting people’s mental health. The study is led by the Mental Health Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Swansea University, the University of Strathclyde and Queen’s University Belfast.

Covid-19 and the nation’s mental health According to this report, the global COVID-19 pandemic is likely to increase the number of people in Britain experiencing a mental health problem in the next two years.

Isolation of patients in psychiatric hospitals in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: An ethical, legal, and practical challenge

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Psychiatrists see alarming rise in patients needing urgent and emergency care. A new survey of over 1,300 mental health doctors from across the UK reveals that 43% of psychiatrists have seen an increase in their urgent and emergency caseload while 45% have seen a reduction in their most routine appointments. Psychiatrists are concerned that many patients are staying away from mental health services until they reach a crisis point. The pandemic has also made it much harder for services to offer routine appointments despite rapid adoption of new ways of working.

Ordinary residence: anonymised determinations 2020. How the department resolves disputes in the health and social care sector when 2 or more local authorities cannot agree responsibility for meeting a person’s eligible needs.

Mental health, learning disabilities and autism: Guidance NHS England has published updating guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on the use of the Mental Health Act and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disabilities and specialised commissioned mental health services.



Court of Protection Handbook: letter. In  a letter to directors of adult social services, Vice-President of the Court of Protection, Hayden J, states the view that careful adherence to proper legal process and appropriate authorisation of deprivations of liberty may now (during the coronavirus pandemic), at times, be required to give way to other pressing welfare priorities is "entirely misconceived". Noting a "troubling drop" in Mental Capacity Act 2005 s.21A applications he emphasises that deprivation of the liberty of any individual will always require appropriate authorisation.

Ensuring patients can access justice. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Mental Health Tribunal is using remote hearings and adapting quickly to new ways of working to ensure as many cases as possible can be heard. Hearings usually take place in hospital premises but COVID-19 measures have rendered such hearings inaccessible. In particular, Kinly's Cloud Video Platform (CVP) has been used due to its security, accessibility and flexibility.

Mental health apps to support children and young people. A team across NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to identify a number of digital tools to support children and young people who are experiencing increased mental health needs as a result of COVID-19.

Coronavirus: Deaths in mental health hospitals double as Covid-19 spreads. Care Quality Commission reveals scale of COVID-19 deaths in mental health hospitals as NHS England refuses to publish information about learning disabled and autistic patient deaths.

CQC have published an update on the work they are doing to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on autistic people and people with learning disability. This work includes analysing all available data on confirmed and suspected COVID-19 deaths (as published by ONS) and mapping this against records which indicate whether someone was autistic or had a learning disability. This will also form part of CQC reporting moving forwards.





Chief Coroner’s Guidance No:37: COVID-19 deaths and possible exposure in the workplace. This provides further guidance to Coroners in respect of COVID-19 deaths which may have been contracted in the workplace. This may include frontline NHS staff as well as others (e.g. public transport employees, care home workers, emergency services personnel).

Coronavirus (Covid-19): verifying death in times of emergency This guidance is for all deaths outside hospital where verification of death may be completed by health professionals – such as medical practitioners, registered nurses and paramedics – who have been trained to do so in line with their employer’s policies.

Guidance for those involved in managing COVID-19 deaths Cabinet Office guidance provides advice and support for the general public, local authorities, coroners, the funeral and burial sectors, employers and workers handling loss of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance from Public Health England provides advice for people required to manage bodies of deceased persons infected with COVID-19. It has been developed to ensure that: both the bodies and the bereaved family of the deceased are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect; and people who work in these services and mourners are protected from infection.

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NHS test and trace: how it works This guidance gives an overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

NHS Charges for Overseas Visitors. This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the rules for charging of overseas visitors for the use of certain NHS services, and the development of policy in this area.

NHS Roadmap To Safely Bring Back Routine Operations Health leaders have set out a series of measures to help local hospitals plan to increase routine operations and treatment, while keeping the necessary capacity and capability to treat future COVID-19 patients.

NHS England statement on personalised care. In a joint statement on personalised approaches to care and treatment, NHS England and Baroness Jane Campbell, again repeated that blanket do not resuscitate orders should not be imposed on patients. The statement said disabled and vulnerable patients must not be denied personalised care during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the virus and its impact on the NHS did not change the position for vulnerable patients.

Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to Covid-19 than others? This report brings together evidence on the unequal health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the UK’s minority ethnic groups, presenting information on risk factors for each of the largest minority groups in England and Wales: White other, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Black Caribbean.

NHS England - Addressing impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in the NHS Sets out the key areas of focus for NHS England and NHS Improvement in relation to staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background.

COVID-19: guidance for first responders Advice for first responders (as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act) and others where close contact may be required as part of their normal duties.


Bevan Brittan Updates

Coronavirus Act 2020 - Changes to Local Authority Duties under the Care Act 2014. What do the changes mean for your organisation?

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Information sharing/data  


Patient health records: access, sharing and confidentiality This briefing looks at access to patient health records, electronic patient records, NHS data security, and the use of confidential information by the NHS. It has been updated to include relevant information on sharing patient information during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bevan Brittan Updates

ICO releases statement on how it will regulate during Covid-19.

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Digital Health

Bevan Brittan Updates

Who's to Blame? Digital Healthcare and issues about liability when things go awry

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Primary Care  


Competencies for nurses working in primary health care This document provides guidance and inspiration for policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians who are seeking to develop and secure competencies among their nursing workforce in primary care.

Guidance to primary care and community health to support care home residents during the pandemic. Following the letter published on 29 April outlining the second phase of NHS response to COVID-19, this letter sets out how primary care and community health services can help provide the best possible care for our care home residents at this difficult time.



Millions of patients benefiting from remote consultations as family doctors respond to COVID-19.

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CQC – Joint statement on CQC’s regulatory approach during the pandemic. CQC’s chief inspectors issued a joint statement setting out CQC’s approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sharing insight, asking questions, encouraging collaboration: CQC publishes first insight document on COVID-19 pressures

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Bevan Brittan provides support for independent sector providers across the healthcare, adult, social care and the children's social care and education sectors. For more than a decade we have been consistently ranked by Chambers UK Guide as a leading firm in Healthcare.

For more information please contact Adrian Neale or Carlton Sadler.

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