Health and social care

“They demonstrate high levels of efficiency and professionalism, complemented by rapid responsiveness, strong negotiation skills and empathetic support.”

Chambers and Partners 2018

“A well respected name in the healthcare field.”

Legal 500 2017
In a rapidly changing environment, our 100-plus specialist team of lawyers stay ahead of the issues to work with public and private providers, commissioners and regulators leading transformation to achieve better, integrated Health and Care solutions and improve patient outcome.

We advise on the following:

  • Integration 
  • Regulatory Risk & Compliance and Reputation Management (including information governance, inquests and defending criminal prosecutions)
  • Collaboration 
  • Joint Ventures: contractual and special purpose vehicles 
  • Critical Incident Response
  • Outsourcing 
  • Employment, HR and Pensions
  • Property – site acquisition and disposal, portfolio enhancement projects and estate management
  • Construction - new build property and extension projects
  • Mental health and capacity issues of residents.
  • Workforce management
  • Estates management 
  • Board development & Governance
  • Commercial Contracts - outsourcing and collaboration (including joint ventures and contractual & special purpose vehicles)
  • Procurement and bidding of contracts
  • Risk management and health and care regulatory
  • Company advice – including board development & governance
  • Corporate  transactions - mergers, disposals and acquisitions
  • Financing – acting for lenders and borrowers in the financing of large care portfolios.

Main areas of practice

We support public and independent providers, commissioners and regulators with the following services:

Clients

Examples of clients for whom our experienced lawyers act and advise include

“Blake Morgan’s knowledge of the healthcare sector (both private and NHS) was invaluable to us. Their insight allowed them to suggest alternative solutions when we were faced with challenges and their team were always proactive with this approach. ”

Di Thomas Chief Executive, Horder Healthcare

NHS Trusts (England and Wales)

National regulators (NMC, GOC, HFEA, HTA) 
Clinical Commissioning Groups NHS England
Central Government departments NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (all Local Health Boards and Trusts in Wales)
Commissioning Support Units NHS Foundation Trusts across England
GP & Dental practices (England and Wales) Primary care developers
Local authorities as care providers and commissioners (England and Wales) Charities and not-for-profit sector providers of care
Medical research charities Social housing providers moving into integrated care provision (extra care and care homes)
Mental Health NHS Trusts Trust Special Administrator for Mid Staffordshire NHS FT

Significant experience

Our specialist health & care lawyers help clients in a variety of ways. Examples include:

  • Advising a number of partnerships formed to deliver better outcomes for patients including advising on joint venture form, governance, collaborative bidding and contracting arrangements.
  • Advising various lenders and borrowers on the financing of care portfolios.  The size and geographical spread of our team means that we can handle all financing transactions efficiently and economically.  We advise on financing small care portfolios (less than five homes) up to the largest financing deals in the sector (portfolios with more than two hundred homes).
  • Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - Advising the Trust Special Administrators (“TSAs”) appointed by the Secretary of State to deal with the provision of health services within Mid Staffordshire, following the report into the deaths of a number of hospital patients within that area.
  • Acting for Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in cases in the Employment Tribunal and higher courts, across the full range of issues and involving both medical and non-medical staff. 
  • Advising NHS Wales on all legal and regulatory aspects of the first pan-Wales Mental Health and Learning Disabilities (MHLD) Service Framework (value circa £250m). We provided strategic advice and assistance at Delivery Team and Project Board level, on the risks, issues and structure of the entire procurement (from cradle to grave).
  • Representing Hywel Dda Local Health Board in defending Judicial Review proceedings brought against it in relation to the Health Board’s proposed re-organisation of accident and emergency services at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli.
  • Acting for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to investigate fitness to practise cases involving nurses and midwives.
  • Acting for Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in a number of complex and long-running equal pay cases.
  • Advising a number of partnerships formed to deliver better outcomes for patients including advising on joint venture form, governance, collaborative bidding and contracting arrangements. 
  • NHS England - assisting with the drafting of the 2015/16 and 2016/17- NHS Standard Contracts, and a number of related contracts and variations. (The Standard Contract is used in England to commission all secondary and tertiary health services, and is updated annually to reflect health policy changes).
  • Advising a number of partnerships formed to deliver better outcomes for patients including advising on joint venture form, governance, collaborative bidding and contracting arrangements. 
  • Acting for a number of Vanguard projects redesigning care systems, including advising on commissioning, decommissioning, strategy models, strategic models for collaboration or accountable lead providers, consultation and quality impact assessment and contracting models. 
  • Acting for the 7 Health Boards in Wales to successfully defeat a challenge to their interpretation of section 49 Health and Social Care Act 2001 brought by 11 care home providers, supported by 21 local authorities in Wales. The Court of Appeal agreed that Health Boards are responsible only for the cost of nursing care, rather than personal or social care which might, on occasions, be delivered by a Registered Nurse. The decision has saved the NHS in England and Wales an estimated £250 million per annum. R(Forge Care Homes) v Cardiff and Vale University Health Board [2016] EWCA Civ 26.
  • Advising NHS Wales on all legal and regulatory aspects of the first pan-Wales Mental Health and Learning Disabilities (MHLD) Service Framework (value circa £250m). We provided strategic advice and assistance at Delivery Team and Project Board level, on the risks, issues and structure of the entire procurement (from cradle to grave).
  • Successfully acting for NHS England in the first case to consider the NHS (Competition, Procurement and Patient Choice) No 2 Regulations 2013. The case concerned an application for Judicial Review of a decision by NHS England not to contract with a provider for an interim period pending a national review and procurement of the service in question. Damages were also claimed under the Human Rights Act 1998. R (on the application of) v National Health Service Commissioning Board and another [2015] EWHC 3752.
  • NHS England - assisting with the drafting of the 2015/16 and 2016/17- NHS Standard Contracts, and a number of related contracts and variations. (The Standard Contract is used in England to commission all secondary and tertiary health services, and is updated annually to reflect health policy changes).
  • Advising Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council on a 25-year £165 million PPP care homes partnership with a social landlord involving transfer of 7 existing homes (including staff and care provision), design, build, financing and operation (including care provision) of 4 new homes and a 24-unit extra care facility.
  • Managed equipment services projects – wide specialist experience including advising Philips on a £110 million PFI imaging scheme in Belfast, Asteral on a £130 million PFI imaging scheme in Peterborough, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board on a £48 million haematology and biochemistry diagnostics project.
  • Advising Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council on a 25-year £165 million PPP care homes partnership with a social landlord involving transfer of 7 existing homes (including staff and care provision), design, build, financing and operation (including care provision) of 4 new homes and a 24-unit extra care facility.
  • Advising on wide-ranging restructurings and reorganisations in the NHS, including the implications of Agenda for Change and the NHS Wales “Organisational Change Policy”.
  • Acting for Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in cases in the Employment Tribunal and higher courts, across the full range of issues and involving both medical and non-medical staff.
  • Managed equipment services projects – wide specialist experience including advising Philips on a £110 million PFI imaging scheme in Belfast, Asteral on a £130 million PFI imaging scheme in Peterborough, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board on a £48 million haematology and biochemistry diagnostics project.
  • Acting for Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in a number of complex and long-running equal pay cases.
  • Advising Local Health Boards in the specialist and sensitive area of the disciplining and dismissal of doctors and the particular considerations which arise in such cases.
  • Advising on wide-ranging restructurings and reorganisations in the NHS, including the implications of Agenda for Change and the NHS Wales “Organisational Change Policy.
  • Representing NHS England in performers list appeals

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

ET fees ruled unlawful – what next for employers?

News

Our employment expert considers some of the further detail of the Supreme Court's ruling to make employment tribunal fees unlawful, the implications this will have for employers and what to take into consideration going forward.

Webinar recording: How businesses can better contract with government

News

Blake Morgan Partner Simon McCann recently joined forces with the CBI's Head of Government & Healthcare George McFarlane to discuss best practice and guidance on tendering and contracting with central and/or local government. Listen to the recording here.

Blake Morgan success in landmark mental health appeal

News

Blake Morgan, acting on behalf of the Welsh Ministers, has successfully appealed a decision of the Upper Tribunal (on appeal from the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales) in the matter of Re PJ.

Can I protect my home from care home fees?

The recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme "How to avoid the Dementia Tax" explored the "political hot potato" that is the provision of social care. An increasing number of elderly people are being forced to sell their homes to pay for care fees.

All 44 STPs published – but what do we know?

I am surprised that health commentators are surprised at the lack of detail in the STP proposals that have been published this week, what did we really expect?

STP plans being leaked
STPs: More engagement, less speed - the inconvenient truth(s)

The recent stories of STP plans being leaked by disgruntled local authorities almost makes me feel sorry for the impossible task facing the band of reluctant STP leaders.

Sleep-in shifts and the national minimum wage

Whether or not to pay staff in relation to sleep-in shifts is not always straightforward and establishing whether someone is working or not is crucial. Rebecca Ireland and Madeleine Mould explains the law around this complex area.

The relevance of previous incidents in disciplinary investigations

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently considered whether previous incidents, which did not lead to disciplinary action, could be referred to in an investigation report that led to an employee's dismissal for gross misconduct.

Healthcare economic review lunch

Coutts, Cushman & Wakefield and Blake Morgan jointly hosted a healthcare economic review lunch at Coutts' offices on The Strand on 13 September 2017 which was attended by a host of clients, operators and advisors.

Integration of Care

At Blake Morgan, we understand the drivers for integration and are experienced in working on innovative models to deliver integrated pathways.

Pathology outsourcing

Many NHS organisations are exploring the possible service and financial benefits of new models for the provision of pathology services. This often involves either the consolidation of services across a number of Trusts or geographical areas.

IT Systems

We offer expertise and specialist advice on developing systems for Primary and/or Secondary Care to support service delivery, developing IT solutions within a compliant NHS information governance environment...