Debbie Rookes

Senior Associate

  • Profile
  • I am an experienced healthcare lawyer offering specialist advice in relation to complex inquests, police investigations and enforcement action by regulators for public and private sector organisations.

    I am regularly instructed on large complex inquests with parallel investigations. I provide strategic advice at Board level as well as support to the employees involved, including representation through voluntary police interviews and those under PACE.   

    I frequently provide advice on all aspects of potential enforcement action by regulators, including prosecutions by CQC and the HSE, as well as defending clients following any subsequent enforcement action.

    One client said:-

    'I have worked closely with Debbie for a number of years in connection with three Coroner’s inquests and possible enforcement action from the Health & Safety Executive. Each case has had a high profile and reported to the Board of Directors, consequently the legal competency required has been very high. Debbie’s work has always been exemplary, completely trustworthy and timely but with a human touch so that colleagues have felt able to provide an honest account to ensure the best possible advocacy in each situation.

    I would have no hesitancy in recommending Debbie.'

    I have a wealth of experience in dealing with complex health and social care issues, advising clients in relation to the Mental Capacity Act, deprivation of liberty safeguards framework, commissioning and provider responsibilities, safeguarding referrals and human rights issues. I am experienced in bringing s16 and s21A applications in the Court of Protection as well as applications to restrict vexatious communications and to resolve contact issues. I also provide mental health law advice as well as representation at Mental Health Review Tribunals.

    I am well recognised for my advocacy skills, my ability to adapt to my environment, and to respond to the needs of my clients and the Court. An Assistant Director of Governance & Compliance, said:

    'I have worked in partnership with Debbie for a number of years and have personally always found her to be responsive, attentive to detail and helpful in terms of providing advice to the Trust regarding complex matters of mental health law. Additionally, I am in receipt of feedback from colleagues who have attended inquests to provide verbal evidence, who unanimously identify that the support provided by Debbie to them personally, and the advocacy on behalf of the Trust was exemplary.''

    I also have a keen interest in sharing learning to prevent future incidents and frequently deliver training. My article in the Clinical Services Journal examined the Coroner's role in patient safety with a particular focus on hospital related deaths. I have presented at the Health Estates & Facilities Management Association (HefmA) South West regarding water management and subsequently regarding 'Attaining Compliance'. I was also a key speaker at the South West & Wales Water Safety in Healthcare Forum.

     

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