The European Court has upheld the long-standing principle that parties to a dispute should be able to choose their lawyers without having to go through a tender process (or use a framework).
NHS England recently reported plans to recruit an ‘army of advisors’ to support GPs, following evidence that approximately half of all appointments were not related to medical conditions.
The proposals recognise that, for a number of patients, there may be underlying social problems, such as loneliness or depression, which can have an impact on people’s general health or their ability to live the best, healthiest life that they can. In recent years, the media has reported on the decline of funding for social support, and the effect this has had on the NHS in being able to provide an ongoing high standard of care.
Under the plans, it is hoped that being able to refer patients to ‘wellbeing advisors’ will reduce the burden placed on doctors, as well as provide more targeted support to individuals. NHS England expects that by “2023-24, social prescribers will be handling around 900,000 patient appointments a year”, a number that seems almost insignificant against the estimated 300 million GP appointments attended each year.
Whilst the increased funding for such services is a positive step forward in ensuring that we all receive a well-balanced service, it is important to recognise that the expertise and skill of a qualified healthcare professional could result in recognition of a potential symptom at the outset. Although support staff can, and already do, provide a valuable service within the NHS, the risk of medically untrained staff failing to recognise symptoms can result in catastrophic results, either as a result of self-harm or a deterioration in someone’s medical condition.
Although we have all experienced the frustration of trying to get an appointment with our doctor, it is important that any plans to implement such a scheme serves to complement general healthcare provision, rather than introducing limitations to access to GPs through the backdoor.
If you require any further information or wish to speak to any of our team regarding this article or any aspect of our work, please contact Christopher Frankling.
On 8 July, news broke of the staggering fine of more than £183m the ICO intended to levy against British Airways as a result of a hack that took place in 2018, compromising 500,000 customers' data.
The Government has been refused permission to appeal a decision ruling that transitional arrangements in public sector pension schemes are discriminatory.
The Lifeline Project was a well-regarded charity. Failure to carry out the targets within the contracts led the charity into insolvency and resulted in a personal, 7-year disqualification order.
Many local authorities have assessed that a trading subsidiary or trading structure could be beneficial as part of generating income or the service delivery matrix.
On 23 July, trainees from Anthony Collins Solicitors will host an ‘experience day’, which will involve various activities and presentations, with lawyers and non-lawyers from across the firm.
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has launched a new scheme specifically for charities and not-for-profit organisations who want to advise EU citizens on UK settlement.
In the second part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks and opportunities presented by payment mechanisms in construction contracts.
The Government has resurrected its plans to cap the termination payments for exiting employees in the public sector.
Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
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