Nicole Ridgwell

Associate

  • Profile
  • Career highlights
  • I am an Associate in the Litigation Advisory and Regulatory department, specialising in health and social care law.

    I began my career in the charity and then immigration law sectors and moved into the health and social care sector in 2009. Since then I have had the opportunity to work closely with both the public and private sector, enjoying roles in a trade union, representing nurses and healthcare assistants, and within private practice, representing independent health and social care providers.

    My work has ranged from advice and advocacy for registered healthcare professionals in fitness to practise investigations to challenges against CQC and Ofsted on behalf of private providers. I have significant experience of public and administrative law matters (including judicial reviews), inquests, healthcare and professional disciplinary actions, and Information Commissioner's Office investigations.  I have also advised on discrete matters of public law and personal injury.

    I write regularly for a variety of health and social care publications, and present at conferences and seminars on health and social care matters. I am the co-author of the Nursing & Midwifery section of the Legal Action Group book 'Professional discipline and healthcare regulators: a legal handbook' (1st edition 2012, 2nd edition 2018)

     

    • Acting for a private healthcare provider in a judicial review against the CQC, obtaining an interim injunction to prevent publication of an inspection report during which time securing significant amendments to the report prior to publication.
    • Successfully defending a provider of substance misuse rehabilitation services against criminal prosecution for failure to register; working with an expert healthcare consultant to successfully obtain CQC registration.
    • Acting for a registered nurse where the Chief Constable had included unsubstantiated allegations of ill-treatment and neglect within their enhanced criminal record certificate. The Court of Appeal concluded that the Chief Constable had applied too low a threshold in relation to the credibility of the allegations and evaluation of the evidence, and further that weight should have been given to the fact that the allegations had been considered and dismissed by the individual's former employer, the CPS, the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Accordingly, the Court found that the individual's Article 8 rights had been breached, dismissing the Chief Constable's argument that Article 3 may take precedence.
    • Obtaining indefinite leave to remain for a registered healthcare professional who faced removal because they fell below then imposed salary threshold of £35k, successfully arguing that the decision breached the principle of legitimate expectations and the individual's Article 8 rights.

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