Health & Social Care Law2022-04-12T09:05:07+00:00

Health & Social Care Law

The importance health and social care providers play in society has come into greater focus as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the health and social care sector have voiced their concerns and are beginning to receive more recognition for caring for the most vulnerable in society, and rightly so.

Our approach to Health & Social Care Law

Attwells Solicitors has acted for businesses within the health and social care sector for many years, offering practical, jargon-free advice in a timely manner.

Lloyd Clarke has provided seminars on legal issues affecting the care sector locally to both Suffolk Care Association and Essex Care Association (whom Attwells are proud to Partner with) and nationally.

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Attwells Solicitors, your trusted community care solicitors in Suffolk, Essex & London

Health and Social Care Law: Acquisitions & Disposals of Care Home & Caring Service Businesses

If you are looking to expand your health and social care business via purchasing or leasing new premises, Attwells can help. In addition, for businesses with an investment portfolio, we will make sure that you receive a full FRI lease with a clean income stream.

We have considerable experience of acting for health and social care professionals, whether you are funding your first care home or refinancing or expanding your existing business.

In a competitive market, the speed and diligence of your lawyer is key. With Attwells, your lawyer will be proactive in pushing your matter forward to an efficient and satisfactory conclusion.

Employment Law for Health & Social Care Owners

Employment disputes can be costly, distracting and time consuming. They can interfere with and damage your business and in the event that they do arise you must deal with them quickly and in the most efficient manner available.

From day one, an employee has in excess of 80 legal rights and the ever-changing nature of employment law makes it more and more difficult for employers to stay on the right side of the law.  Our Employment and HR Team can provide you with all the advice that you need to stay compliant and instead focus on your growing your business.

We can advise you on the whole employment cycle from advertising for positions, job descriptions, interviewing, terms and conditions and employment contracts through to promotion, sickness, holiday, disability, maternity, performance management and finally grievance, disciplinary, dismissal, appeal, enforcement of restrictive covenants and the defence of Employment Tribunal proceedings.

We have within our team an ACAS qualified mediator who can help to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively.

Funding for Health & Social Care Businesses

In the last few years, there have been new entrants into the healthcare sector and Attwells would expect this to continue in the future.

If you are looking at an acquisition or finance in the care sector then it is critical that your solicitor has an understanding of the regulation and requirements of the Care Quality Commission. Attwells has this specialist knowledge of the healthcare sector to ensure that your transaction proceeds quickly with a certainty of fixed fees.

In addition to commercial finance for care homes, Attwells also advises on children’s day nurseries, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, vets and pharmacies from purchase, to new builds, and group restructuring.

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Letter of Consultation & Letter of Advice

£300plus VAT
  • Initial telephone conversation
  • Brief review of documentation in advance of meeting (subject to reasonable number)
  • Meeting at our offices with your chosen adviser
  • Summary of advice at conclusion of meeting setting out the legal position
  • Letter of advice

What is excluded from the price:

  • Meeting at your home or business premises (can be arranged at additional cost)
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

Disbursements: 

None are anticipated

How long will it take? 

The meeting itself will last around 1 hour and, subject to your availability, we would aim to hold the meeting with you within 48 hours of your initial call or earlier if required. Same-day appointments can be made.

What can we cover in the meeting?

We can provide advice to you on all areas, including but not limited to:

  • All aspects of employment law / HR
  • Safeguarding
  • Contractual and fee disputes
  • Dealing with commissioning authorities, including challenging tender awards
  • Sleep-ins
  • Staff retention
  • GDPR and data protection
  • Debt recovery
  • Business disputes
  • Landlord & Tenant issues
  • Shareholder / Director disputes
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Self-employed contracts including IR35

When will I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for money on account in advance so that work can get underway on your matter. In the event that the meeting is cancelled more than 24 hours in advance, a refund can be made to you.

What you can expect when instructing Attwells Solicitors

Mergers & Collaboration

If you are thinking of setting up your new health and social care businesses or entering into a joint venture, Attwells can undertake the legal work required.

We have acted for a number of social enterprises. Some of our larger care providers are embarking upon an acquisition strategy. We will undertake the legal due diligence of the target, and drafting and negotiating the purchase agreement. On acquisitions, advice is often needed around whether to undertake a share or asset sale, due diligence on the premises, securing the income, review of T&Cs of the target, TUPE and employee issues, and suitable warranty and indemnity protection.

Why is a Shareholder Agreement Important?

A Shareholder Agreement is the form of document that care providers should have in place if they trade with others through a limited company. If the business with others is a partnership, then a partnership agreement will be required.

Either form of agreement is an essential prerequisite to starting a health or care business with others because as well as providing protection if things go wrong, it also encourages a dialogue between the owners about matters that they may not otherwise wish to discuss.

Nursing Homes

This sector is highly regulated. Care home providers who offer residential or nursing homes are required to demonstrate compliance with Government regulations in order to register and operate their care home business.

The Care Quality Commission is also known as CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care. Its role is to oversee, inspect and regulate services within the care sector to ensure a good quality of care is provided, including health and safety regulation, employment law, and data protection (GDPR).

Your rating is published in a care home ‘league table’ so prospective clients can review and compare you with other care providers. If your care or nursing home fails to meet these standards, your business may be put into special measures or struck off.

Shareholder Agreement for Health & Social Care Businesses

A Shareholders Agreement is used in tandem with the Articles of Association of the Company to specifically manage the way that shareholders act and govern the processes that are to be followed following certain events occurring. A Shareholder Agreement is particularly important if something goes wrong with the business or disputes between shareholders arise.

Attwells health and social care providers are often local family-run businesses and the thought of formalising the arrangements of the business over and above that of registering as a limited company may not have been considered or may seem too onerous.

For small to medium-sized health and social care providers, a Shareholders Agreement may also be used to incentivise employees.  If a provider has a particularly excellent employee that the company wishes to be rewarded by way of granting them shares but does not want them to hold voting rights in the company, then this can also be dealt with in the Shareholders Agreement.

It is important to consider these areas before it is too late and disagreements or potential costly disputes arise between the shareholders of the company. Too often this upfront work is not dealt with and shareholder issues arise when there is no documentation in place to help.

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Lloyd Clarke
Lloyd ClarkePartner
I am a Partner of the firm and head up Attwells’ Employment Law Department. I also regularly undertake work in the areas of civil litigation, data protection and company/commercial.

I advise employers, employees, independent contractors, businesses and individuals in contentious and non-contentious matters, regularly appearing in the Employment Tribunal.

A typical week for me would involve advising upon settlement agreements, negotiating exit packages, drafting claims and defences to the Employment Tribunal or County Court (such as those relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract etc.), contracts of employment, staff handbooks and other HR documentation, advising on grievance and disciplinary proceedings, TUPE transfers and poor performance/sickness absence and attending Tribunal.

Alongside my general offering, I specialise in advising those operating in a small handful of key sectors, including care, estate agency and IR35.

I have provided seminars on legal issues affecting the care sector to members of both Suffolk Care Association and Essex Care Association (whom Attwells are proud to Partner with), in addition to talks at a national level.

I have also delivered talks across East Anglia and London to Estate Agents on key legal requirements for their business, in conjunction with NAEA Propertymark. My clients value my tenacity, attention to detail, communication and negotiation skills, alongside my supportive approach to all of my client relationships.

Private Client Services

The Private Client Department drafts Wills and offers a home visiting service so that clients who are less mobile can be reassured that their affairs are in order when the time comes. The Private Client department offers an initial ‘no-fee’ appointment to discuss wishes and explore all avenues before deciding on their final instructions to ensure that clients’ Wills reflect their exact wishes. Attwells’ efficient service means that they can work quickly and Attwells aim to return draft Wills to their clients within a week of being instructed.

The Department also deals with Lasting Powers of Attorney. Lasting Powers of Attorney enable a person or people of an individual’s choice to deal with their financial affairs, which can be a great help to those who are less mobile. If put in place whilst an individual has the sound capacity, they can also allow a chosen person to make decisions about healthcare and treatment when the individual is no longer able to do so. Putting these LPAs in place can put individuals’ minds at rest and assure them that their affairs will be handled by someone they trust when they are less able to do so themselves.

We can assist your residents, their families, or yourselves in understanding rights and obligations when a Power of Attorney is in place or what to do if there is no Power of Attorney.

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Social Care updates

Our health and social care articles provide updated news from the sector. With the recent changes to Sleep-Ins, our health and social care clients have found our updates extremely useful.

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