Care Homes and Health and Social Care
We have a highly skilled team of specialist Care Home solicitors who have a passion to support care providers in running efficient and compliant businesses.
We are all living longer and over a quarter of our population is now aged over 65. The care sector has grown at the same rate with an increased development of specialist homes and the explosion of domiciliary care at home. This presents considerable commercial opportunities. However, there is an ever increasing regulatory and compliance burden, making the need for specialist commercial legal advice all the more important.
Specialist Care Home solicitor Neil Cook leads the Care Team. Neil is not only an experienced commercial solicitor, but he has also owned and run a Care Home giving him the benefit of personal expertise and knowledge of the legal issues and day to day challenges which face Care Home owners including dealing with Care Home fees
Our Care Home Team is able to provide concise, comprehensive, practical advice; starting with assistance in the identification and buying of a Care Home, guiding you through the regulatory maze during your ownership and, ultimately, assisting in your exit from the sector.
Our Care Team can also advise other businesses in the healthcare sector including GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies, children’s nursery businesses and rehabilitation operators.
Our Care Home solicitor legal services include:
- CQC registration amendments
- CQC applications
- Regulatory advice and assistance with CQC and local authority issues
- Challenging claims and CQC inspections reports,
- Challenging cancellations and suspensions of CQC registrations;
- Buying and selling of Care Homes including due diligence
- Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty applications;
- Care Home employment legal advice;
- Adult safeguarding advice;
- Data protection advice
- Commercial property advice
- Dispute resolution including debt collection.
How do I start a Domiciliary Care Agency?
1. Working with your accountant, decide whether you will be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. The latter option will enable you to limit liability.
2. Previous experience in the care sector is not essential but is invaluable.
3. Register with Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is where previous experience will make it easier to achieve registration. The process involves an application, enhanced DBS checks and a meaningful interview. Registration is not a foregone conclusion.
4. Insurance – Public liability insurance is essential.
5. Cash flow – Ensure that you have sufficient funds to allow for a start-up period.
How do I buy a Care Home?
1. If you do not have previous experience, choose a Care Home that is well run and has a manager who will remain post-completion.
2. If you buy the shares of an existing Care Home company, you simply advise CQC of a change of directors on completion. However, as CQC registrations are not capable of transfer, if you buy the Care Home separately, you will have to make a new application. This is an exhaustive process and takes 3-4 months and involves DBS checks and interviews.
3. Before purchase, check the CQC inspection ratings for the Care Home. These can be found on the CQC website cqc.org.uk. If a Care Home is rated as “requires improvement” additional due diligence should be undertaken to access what will be required to improve the ratings to “good”.
What are the Care Home regulations?
The CQC acts as an independent regulator of health and adult social care. Its role is to monitor, inspect and regulate services in the care sector to ensure minimum quality and safety standards are met. To this end, the CQC has produced detailed regulations which Care Home owners must comply with. These include the need to employ suitable qualified and competent staff and the need for the premises to meet stringent health and safety standards, as well as requirements relating to the safeguarding and treatment of residents.