Oxfordshire Director of Legal

DNACPR orders during coronavirus

Victoria Mortimer examines issues around care planning and the use of DNACPR orders in the current crisis. Read more
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Jun 24, 2020

Councils told not to prioritise preparations for Liberty Protection Safeguards

The Government has told local authorities and other agencies not to give priority to the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) due to pressures from dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jun 15, 2020

Government amends MCA/DOLS guidance during COVID-19 to include section on right to appeal if those subject to emergency health powers and lacking capacity

The Department for Health and Social Care has added a new section to The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance on the right to appeal if someone is subject to emergency health powers and lacks the relevant mental capacity.
Jun 15, 2020

Councils call for suspension of No Recourse to Public Funds condition

The Local Government Association has called for the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) “so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the coronavirus crisis”.
Jun 15, 2020

Government facing legal challenge over urgent award of £108m PPE contract

The Good Law Project will today launch judicial review proceedings over the Government’s award of an £108m contract to a pest control company for the supply of PPE.
Jun 04, 2020

Claimant calls off judicial review action after council offers concessions on use of Care Act 'easements'

Concessions by Derbyshire County Council have enabled it to avoid a threatened judicial review over use of the Care Act ‘easements’ introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Jun 04, 2020

Official Solicitor takes part for first time in hearing of out of hours application in serious medical treatment case

The Official Solicitor has for the first time taken part in the hearing of an urgent out of hours application in a serious medical treatment case.
Jun 04, 2020

Government facing legal action over policies on care homes during COVID-19 crisis

A daughter whose father died of suspected COVID-19 in a care home is to launch a legal action “to hold the government to account”.
Jun 01, 2020

Leader calls for council to be given more powers to implement local lockdown

The Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council has called for the local authority to be given more powers to implement a local lockdown in the area.
May 21, 2020

Campaigners in legal threat over "failure to collect data on deaths of those with learning disabilities and autism during COVID-19"

Disability campaigners have sent a letter before action to five public bodies over what they say has been a failure to mandate the collection and publication of data on the deaths of people with learning disabilities and autism during the coronavirus pandemic.
May 15, 2020

Safeguards over deprivations of liberty are “indispensable” to frail and vulnerable, says senior judge, amid “striking and troubling” drop in number of s.21A applications

The view that careful adherence to proper legal process and appropriate authorisation of deprivations of liberty may now, at times, be required to give way to other pressing welfare priorities is “entirely misconceived”, the Vice President of the Court of Protection has warned.


April 24, 2020

Standards of care during COVID-19

What standard of care should hospitals be held to in the COVID-19 outbreak? James Todd QC and Emma Corkill look at the key considerations.
April 20, 2020

R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups

David Lock QC and David Blundell QC explain the background, arguments and consequences of R (Bayer and Novartis) v NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Groups and others in a series of podcasts.
April 14, 2020

Articles 3 and 8 in the time of coronavirus

Arianna Kelly looks at a new case with significant implications for local authorities using the Care Act ‘easements’.
April 09, 2020

The European Commission on public procurement during COVID-19

The European Commission has published a Communication “Guidance on using the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the COVID-19 crisis”. Susie Smith examines what it has to say.
April 02, 2020

A life worth living

Nageena Khalique QC looks at Mostyn J's judgment in a novel case concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment in the Court of Protection’s first ever Skype trial.
March 30, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds lawfulness of NHS Avastin choice policy for wet AMD patients

A policy of 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to recommend that NHS clinicians should offer patients a choice between two licensed medicines and a cheaper drug for a treatment was confirmed as lawful following the Court of Appeal's dismissal of an appeal brought by pharmaceutical companies. David Lock QC and David Blundell QC analyse the judgment.
March 19, 2020

Covid-19: Court of Protection guidance on visiting P and hearings

The Court of Protection has issued two important pieces of guidance in the last two days, writes Jonathan Auburn.
March 06, 2020

Not only inimical… but potentially fatal: medical treatment cases and delay

A recent case shows how important it is that doctors and other professionals are supported within their organisations to understand the points at which they need to consider an application to the Court of Protection, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.


May 11, 2020

Disabled claimant to challenge NHS England guidance restricting hospital visitors

A disabled woman has sent a pre-action protocol letter to NHS England over its “Visitor guidance”, which imposes restrictions on those entering hospitals.
May 06, 2020

Judge rules terminally ill woman could leave care home to live with family despite COVID-19 restrictions

A Court of Protection judge has ruled that a dying woman should be removed from a care home where Covid-19 could have been present to spend her final days with her family, despite pandemic restrictions.
May 04, 2020

Court of Protection has power to grant injunctive relief, judge rules

The Court of Protection has the power to grant injunctive relief in support of and to ensure compliance with its best interests decisions and its orders, a judge has concluded.
Apr 14, 2020

Government faces legal action over failure to produce guidance on prioritisation of NHS treatment if demand outstrips supply

Disability campaigners have threatened the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care and NHS England with a potential judicial review challenge over the failure to publish guidance on how NHS treatment for COVID-19 will be prioritised if demand outstrips supply.
Apr 08, 2020

Court of Protection Bar Association issues guidance on remote hearings

The Court of Protection Bar Association has produced guidance on effective remote hearings.
Apr 08, 2020

Health and safety watchdog outlines when RIDDOR report is needed for COVID-19 cases

The Health and Safety Executive has set out when a report must be made under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) in relation to COVID-19.
Apr 06, 2020

Councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow social distancing, says Local Government Association

The government has called on councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.
Apr 01, 2020

Families of disabled children threaten legal challenge over government limit on outdoor exercise

A pre-action protocol letter has been sent to the Government calling on it to reconsider the policy that all citizens are only permitted to leave the house for exercise once per day.
Apr 01, 2020

NICE amends Covid-19 critical care guideline after judicial review threat

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (‘NICE’) has changed the COVID-19 guideline for clinical care after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
Apr 01, 2020

Government issues guidance on how local authorities can use Care Act ‘easements’

The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance setting out local authorities can use the new 'easements' under the Coronavirus Act 2020 that mean they no longer need to meet certain duties under the Care Act.
Mar 31, 2020

Guidance issued on remote access to Court of Protection

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection has today (31 March) issued updated guidance on remote access to the court.
Mar 31, 2020

Council to appeal High Court ruling that stroke unit reconfiguration was lawful

Medway Council has lodged an appeal against a High Court decision which found that a joint committee of clinical commissioning groups had acted lawfully when dealing with health inequalities when they decided the locations of three hyper acute stroke units (HASUs) in Kent.
Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which contains a wide range of emergency measures as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been given Royal Assent.
Mar 20, 2020

Barristers call for changes to Coronavirus Bill to avoid wholesale removal of duties to provide adult social care

Barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, 11KBW and Monckton Chambers have set out proposed amendments to the Coronavirus Bill, warning that, as it is currently drafted, the legislation is likely to have a serious negative impact on adults with care and support needs and their carers.
Mar 19, 2020

Employment Tribunal awards whistleblowing doctor £857,000

A doctor who lost his job after making whistleblowing disclosures has been awarded more than £857,000 by an Employment Tribunal.
Mar 17, 2020

Care watchdog in immediate cessation of routine inspections in response to coronavirus

The Care Quality Commission has stopped routine inspections as it adapts its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 16, 2020

Judge orders dialysis treatment where refusal by 34-year-old man was manifestation of his mental disorder

A 34-year-old man’s refusal of dialysis was a manifestation of his mental disorder and so he should be ordered to undergo treatment at times when he does not consent to it, a Court of Protection judge has found.
Mar 02, 2020

Claimant fails in legal challenge over abandonment of procurement of strategic estates partnership

An NHS trust has defeated a legal challenge over its decision to abandon a procurement exercise for a 10-year strategic estates partnership (SEP), in circumstances where it had previously made a decision to award the contract to the claimant.
Feb 24, 2020

Claimants lose challenge to reconfiguration of stroke services in Kent and closure of unit

Campaigners backed by Medway Council have failed in a judicial review challenge to the proposed closure of a stroke unit at a local hospital in Kent.
Feb 12, 2020

Equalities watchdog in legal action against Health Secretary over accommodation for people with learning disabilities and autism

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over what it claims is a repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.
Feb 11, 2020

Fresh legal challenge threatened over changes at hospital amid claims of “unlawful” consultation

A campaigner has threatened a fresh legal challenge after a consultation on proposed changes at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton did not include the option to maintain its accident and emergency department.
Feb 03, 2020

Centre for Public Scrutiny to examine role of scrutiny in improving approaches to tackling gambling harms

The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) has issued a call for evidence as part of a new research project aimed at improving the scrutiny of activity to tackle gambling harms.
Jan 30, 2020

Court of Appeal dismisses legal challenge over reconfiguration at North East hospitals

The Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge to reorganisation plans by two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the North East but has criticised a lower court judge for delays in issuing his judgment, which created a situation that did not comply with Civil Procedure Rules.
Jan 23, 2020

Senior judge issues guidance on applications to Court of Protection concerning medical treatment

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden, has issued guidance on applications to the court relating to medical treatment.
Jan 22, 2020

Hempsons bolsters Regulatory, Crime and Professional Discipline team with Eastwoods merger

Health and social care law firm Hempsons is to merge with Eastwoods which specialises in defending professionals.


February 28, 2020

Refusing food, (in)capacity and coming to court

A Court of Protection judge has made important observations about the need to distinguish between a reluctance to answer questions and an inability to do so, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 21, 2020

Finding the right balance with constrained resources

A recent decision is a useful reminder of the distinction between public law decisions and best interests decisions (the Court of Protection having jurisdiction over the former but not the latter) and the way in which, in practice, public law decisions may limit significantly the best interests decisions that can sensibly be made, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 14, 2020

Coronavirus, public health and coercive powers

The UK Coronavirus regulations contain legal powers to control a public health crisis. David Lawson looks at the key elements.
February 14, 2020

Consulting on the reconfiguration of hospital services

The Court of Appeal last month rejected a challenge to reorganisation plans by two clinical commissioning groups in the North East. 39 Essex Chambers explains why.
February 07, 2020

The power to quarantine

David Lawson considers the law and practice of quarantine – of individuals, of groups and of places, of the unwell and of the healthy.
January 24, 2020

Public procurement challenges require strict and swift approach

Gwendoline Davies and Lynsey Oakdene offer practical advice arising from a High Court decision in a recent public procurement challenge.
January 03, 2020

Case management and expert evidence

In a recent case the Vice-President of the Court of Protection made some important comments in relation to case management. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.
November 08, 2019

Deprivation of liberty in the community – how not to apply to court

A recent case reads as an object lesson in how not to make an application to the Court of Protection to authorise deprivation of liberty, writes Alex Ruck Keene.
November 01, 2019

NHS trusts and the duty of candour

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently decided not to pursue a duty of candour case against an NHS trust due to a lack of evidence. Sarah Knight looks at the lessons to be learned.
October 25, 2019

Transgenderism and chosen pronouns

A Christian doctor was recently dismissed for refusing to address transgender patients by their chosen pronoun. Nadjia Zychowicz reports on the Employment Tribunal’s subsequent ruling.
October 25, 2019

Fluctuating capacity: decisions on the management of diabetes

Hope Davis-McCallion examines how the Court of Protection approached deciding whether a woman had capacity to make decisions about the management of her diabetes.
October 11, 2019

The limits of the inherent jurisdiction (1)

Mr Justice Cobb recently handed down two important decisions on the scope of the inherent jurisdiction at the border of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In the first of two articles on these rulings, the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a case concerning a young adult and the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise deprivations of liberty where there is no statutory…
September 06, 2019

The extent of the inherent jurisdiction

Christine Cooper reports on an unusual inherent jurisdiction case that recently went before a High Court judge.
August 23, 2019

The MHA and the MCA in the community

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report on the outcome of a ruling dealing with streamlined Re X applications made by two local authorities.
August 23, 2019

Segregation on mental health wards

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently published interim findings about the segregation in mental health wards of young people and people with a learning disability or autism. Holly Bridden looks at the lessons to be learned.
August 16, 2019

Fluctuating capacity – micro vs macro decisions

Alex Ruck Keene looks at the lessons to be learned from the latest Court of Protection to address the issue of fluctuating capacity.
July 26, 2019

Entitlement to personal independence payments

The Supreme Court has this month considered an appeal over entitlement to Personal Independence Payments. Leon Glenister explains the ruling.
July 26, 2019

DoLS, inquests and Article 2 ECHR

Does a DoLS automatically engage Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights at inquest? Jessica Swift and Martin English examine the impact of a recent Divisional Court ruling.
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May 24, 2019

Liberty Protection Safeguards – a new frontier or further difficulties?

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 received Royal Assent earlier this month. Matthew Angus and Amanda Mead examine its key provisions and how they will affect local authorities, health bodies and other organisations.
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May 24, 2019

Conversations about religion with patients

The Court of Appeal has rejected a nurse’s appeal against dismissal for improper conversations about religion with patients. Alessandra Gettins, Emma Rowley and Bridget Prosser explain why.