The word “normality” has always been something of a concept as opposed to a definitive way of life which in this lawyer’s humble opinion is perfectly proper. Unfortunately, COVID-19, will force us all to adopt a “new normality” but it may not be a bad thing.
Yes it will mean that we may not be able to go to the pub until later in the year; we may not be able to go to the high street to spend our hard earned wages and it may even mean we have to spend more time with our “other-halves” but these are arguably minor issues when compared to the issues facing our NHS and care sector frontline staff.
Markel Law are on hand to provide advice and assistance to all of our clients. The very sad reality is that many people will pass away as a result of the pandemic and as such our clients will and already do need to respond even beyond providing the care that they do.
For several weeks now, there has been talk of a post-pandemic Public Inquiry in relation to the Government response; the levels of available PPE and the levels of testing being a particular focus. Such an Inquiry may well be inevitable but that does not and should not preclude the necessity of individual inquests where appropriate.
A Public Inquiry will not give all families the closure they seek. It is vital that care providers are in a position to be able to engage in the inquest proceedings arising from a death during these unprecedented times. On a practical view Markel Law would suggest the following:
Ensure that all care plans are reviewed and updated as required
Review all home/setting policies and update as required
Make certain that all individual care plans are reviewed and updated as required
Ensure that all home/care setting risk assessments are reviewed and updated as required
Ensure that effective lines of communication are available with the Local Authority and GP surgeries
Keep full records of communication with family, medical professionals, the local authority and interested parties
In the event of a death, ensure that first accounts/statements are taken from all staff on duty (and those on duty immediately before the shift in which the death occurs)
These are unprecedented times for not only the care sector but also for the legal sector including the Coroners’ Courts. To that end, providers who not only co-operate but positively assist the process by providing what are akin to investigation bundles to the Coroner will ensure that families get the answers they seek and also ensure that the process for the home and business is dealt with as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.
Should you require advice and assistance with collating appropriate bundles of material including witness statements or more generic advice with regards to inquest or regulatory investigations/proceedings please do not hesitate to contact Markel Law.
If you have any queries please get in touch with our specialist Regulatory team at Markel Law via Debbie Nicholson (Head of Regulatory) - Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org, Lauren Wilson (Solicitor) – Lauren.Wilson@Markel.com or Gareth Martin (Solicitor) – Gareth.email@example.com.