Health and social care

“Healthcare powerhouse Blake Morgan LLP is well known for its work for NHS bodies, but is increasingly advising private healthcare providers…”

Legal 500 2016

“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
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 
  • Collaboration 
  • Joint Ventures: contractual and special purpose vehicles 
  • Outsourcing 
  • Contracting & commissioning 
  • Workforce management
  • Estates management 
  • Board development & Governance
  • Procurement and bidding of contracts 
  • Risk management and health and care regulatory

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

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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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. 
  • 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.
  • Representing NHS England in performers list appeals

“What stands out is the firm's understanding of us. They really understand our culture." "I would definitely say they are value for money and they have a transparent billing practice.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2015

“Blake Morgan's team is highly responsive, commercial and politically astute. ”

The Legal 500 UK 2015

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Blake Morgan experts contribute to key healthcare M&A publication

News

Health and Care M&A experts Stephen Tainsh and Guy Constant have contributed to the Practising Law Institute's 'Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions Answer Book 2016'.

Apprenticeship Levy Update – funding arrangements confirmed

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The Government has now confirmed many of the proposals set out in its consultation from August on Apprenticeship Levy funding arrangements in England

Brexit: NHS Wales and the EU – what will be the impact of leaving the EU for devolved policy areas in Wales?

News

Following the leave vote on 23 June, the Research Service, Legal Service and EU Office of the National Assembly for Wales have prepared a Research Paper to consider what implications this has for Wales.

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?

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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.

The NHS Planning Guidance: play nicely - and do it quick

No one can say they have not been told now. The NHS Planning Guidance published yesterday makes a number of things very clear.

Gayle Curry helps assess the parallels between the UK and USA Healthcare law in new market report

Gayle Curry, a partner is our specialist Healthcare sector practice, is one of the contributors of a new market-leading report on Healthcare law in 2017 commissioned by Corporate Live Wire.

STPs: a year in review

A herculean effort has gone into drawing up the footprints and working with local authorities and neighbouring care organisations to discern priorities and discuss integrated working.

Best Practice Show 2016

The Best Practice show provides an unparalleled array of content to support GPs, practice managers, federations, CCGs, pharmacies and primary care delivery professionals with the updates...

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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...