Legal advice for the Health and Social Care sector

The changing legal and regulatory landscape means owners and managers are under huge pressure to keep up, ensure compliance and maintain profitability. At Royds Withy King we specialise in providing expert, cost-effective advice to care providers and care home operators.

Our aim is to become part of your trusted team, on hand to provide expert and
practical advice when you need it. We have vast experience advising on a complete range of legal and regulatory issues, acting for all types of care organisations, including
nursing and residential homes, retirement villages, housing associations, domiciliary care and supported living providers, hospices and hospitals.

Legal advice for all levels of the Health & Social care sector

Our advice and services are tailored to suit the specific needs of our clients and cover a very wide range of issues. We advise clients in the social care sector on buying, selling and developing care businesses; employment law and HR issues; CQC registration and enforcement; fees and funding; safeguarding and inquests. Our multi-disciplinary team also has the expertise to help you deal with emerging issues affecting your business such as preparing for Brexit and the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Great service is a given. What differentiates us is our commitment to going the extra mile for our clients. For us, it’s about building long lasting client relationships, understanding the regulation and market forces within your sector and adding value over time.

Pre-sale reorganisation and sale of Gold Care Holdings Limited

  • We advised the sellers of Gold Care Holdings Limited, a care home operator with 18 care homes, on the circa £90m sale of the Gold Care group to an overseas real estate investor. The transaction included a pre-sale reorganisation and property sale and leaseback of 18 care homes.
  • Gold Care Homes was established in 1999 and has since grown to operate 21 care
    homes through development, mergers and acquisitions. The homes are located
    throughout southern and central England, and focus on the private and public paymarkets. The transaction involved 18 of the homes, located mainly in Southern England and Birmingham. The remaining homes will be operated outside the sale and leaseback
    agreement.
  • We worked closely with Gold Care Homes and their tax advisors to structure the
    deal and provide comprehensive pre-sale support, which included corporate and
    property advice. An important part of our work was advising the owners of Gold
    Care Homes on various regulation and compliance issues in relation to registering
    four new operating companies to run and administer the care homes.

We understand the challenges that care providers face

RWK bullet point Toughening regulation and CQC

The care sector has always been subject to strict regulation and 2017/18 has seen CQC introduce multiple changes to the way it inspects and regulates providers.

  • The PIR has changed. You must now complete a
    “Provider Information Collection” on a regular basis.
  • The Key Lines of Enquiry and prompts have been revised.
  • CQC is taking a tougher stance on regulatory compliance action.
  • CQC has assumed responsibility for prosecuting providers and
    managers for health and safety related incidents.
  • A statement of financial viability has been introduced.

RWK bullet point GDPR

The data that care providers hold about their staff, service users, and next of kin will be subject to greater scrutiny, particularly as much of the data is sensitive and must be protected.

  • Data security and processing agreements and policies for staff and
    service users
  • Data breach reporting obligations
  • The impact of compliance on CQC inspections
  • The impact of compliance on the sale or purchase of a care business.

RWK bullet point Sleep-in pay crisis

The latest development in the care sector sleep-in pay crisis saw the Government introduce the Social Care Compliance Scheme for providers who have not paid sleep-in shifts in compliance with the National Minimum Wage.

  • Have you audited your pay arrangements and calculated any financial
    exposure for non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage?
  • Should you opt in to the Social Care Compliance Scheme? This
    decision should be part of a broader strategy on managing your liability.
  • What steps can you take to become compliant and stem future liability?

RWK bullet point Brexit

The latest development in the care sector sleep-in pay crisis saw the Government introduce the Social Care Compliance Scheme for providers who have not paid sleep-in shifts in compliance with the National Minimum Wage.

  • How to improve recruitment and retention of staff to
    mitigate the impact of Brexit
  • Future rules on the right of EU staff to work in the UK
  • Right to work checks and compliance with
    Sponsorship Licence requirements.

A team with experience and expertise

We build a team around you and provide pragmatic, commercial and cost effective legal solutions. The specialist advice provided by our Health & Social Care Team includes:

  • Corporate law expertise for GP practices, dental practices and social care providers
    In today’s demanding environment, you need solid commercial arrangements in place to run your business efficiently and minimise risks. Please refer to our pages for GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies and social care providers for further details.
  • Property development, construction and finance
    As a healthcare business, you need your premises to meet your requirements as well as the stringent industry standards. Please refer to our pages for GP practices, dental practicespharmacies and social care providers to see how we can help.
  • Employment
    You need sensible and practical employment policies and practices in place to fit your business and minimise future risks. Even if matters get difficult, we can guide you through your employment law and regulatory obligations.
  • Regulatory compliance
    We have substantial experience supporting healthcare businesses with registration, regulatory compliance and challenging enforcement action. Please refer to our pages for GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies and social care providers to see how we can help.
  • Dispute resolution and mediation
    Unfortunately, in the complicated world of business few practices will be able to run without disputes occurring. Our dispute resolution team is experienced in helping healthcare practices resolve issues and are advocates of successful mediation to help our clients find a satisfactory solution. Find out more about dispute resolution and mediation.
  • Inquests
    As a healthcare provider, you may become involved in inquest proceedings, where a coroner is investigating the circumstances of a death. We can provide expert advice on all matters relating to the Coroners’ jurisdiction and inquests to guide you through the process.

Our experience

  • Advising a care provider charity on a whistleblowing; safeguarding and disciplinary matter.
  • Successfully challenging a CQC inspection report and increasing the overall rating from Requires Improvement to Good.
  • Advising and representing a group of providers in contract and fee negotiations with a local authority
  • Advising a specialist care provider involved in a safeguarding investigation
  • Acting for a national care home provider on purchase of over 30 care and nursing home businesses.
  • Advising national and regional retirement village operators on site acquisition, construction procurement, unit sales and portfolio management issues.
  • Acting for three GP Practices taking leases at a major Health Centre in North London from an NHS Trust
  • Acting for two GP Practices taking underleases at a recently constructed “NHS LIFT” development in South London.
  • Acting for a GP Co-operative in East London in relation to a lease it was taking in a hospital to deliver an “out of hours” service which it had contracted with the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group to provide.
  • Share sale of a pharmacy in Devon for c.£1.5m to new entrant including negotiation of new lease to the buyer.
  • Purchase for multi-chain operator of pharmacy in Gloucestershire for c. £2m including negotiation of management agreement.
  • Acting for a company on the acquisition of a freehold property (and the bank which was advancing funds) for the purpose of setting up a new dental practice
  • Acting for a dental technician acquiring a long leasehold premises (and the bank which was advancing funds) for the purpose of setting up a new denture clinic

Contact us to find out how our expert solicitors can advise and support your healthcare business.

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