Skip to content

Can employees volunteer if they have been furloughed?

Yes. The Government has confirmed that those on furlough will also be permitted to volunteer to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak without risking their pay.

Related FAQs

What technology is being used by the COP for remote hearings?

Interestingly, there is currently no ‘single’ technology to be used by the judiciary within the protocol. The court and parties must choose from a selection of possible IT platforms or audio/telephone hearing (further details available in the guidance e.g. Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc.) The particular platform must be agreed at the outset of each case and then specified in the case management order. The guidance issued also sets out the basic principles which apply when conducting remote hearings.

What will happen with inquests during the coronavirus outbreak?

The Chief Coroner adopts the approach taken by the Lord Chief Justice in that no physical hearing should take place unless it is urgent and essential business, and it is safe for all involved. If a hearing is to take place, social distancing must be maintained. All hearings that can take place remotely should do so, if it is not possible for social distancing requirements to be met. The expectation is that some hearings will go ahead, most notably Rule 23 hearings. Coroners are reminded that they must however conduct any remote hearings from a court. Decisions as to the most appropriate approach will be left to the senior coroner in that jurisdiction.

As we have already seen, some inquests will be adjourned, most notably those with multiple witnesses and/or a jury.

The guidance stresses the need, when dealing with medical professionals, for coroners to recognise their primary clinical commitments, particularly in these high-pressured times. This could mean avoiding or deferring requests for lengthy reports/ statements and accommodating clinical commitments if clinicians are called as witnesses.

The guidance encourages proactive reviews of outstanding responses to Prevention of Future Death reports and extending timescales for Trusts to respond.

What do I do if I can't travel to the UK to activate my visa?

If your 30-day visa to travel to the UK (vignette) has expired or is about to, you can request a replacement free of charge until the end of 2020 by contacting the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. This can be granted with new and extended validity dates to allow travel once you are able to.

What is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus?

The Government has recently passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 in a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, especially in relation to those facing the NHS during this time of crisis.  NHS Resolution worked closely with the Department for Health and Social Care to draft a clause within the Coronavirus Act providing indemnity for clinical negligence for any coronavirus related activity not currently covered by an existing arrangement.  In order to implement this clause, NHS Resolution has launched the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (“CNSC”).

It is intended that the CNSC will cover new contracts put in place for healthcare arrangements to respond to coronavirus, such as organisations supporting testing arrangements or Independent Contractors making agreements with NHS England and NHS Improvement to release capacity to the NHS.  Membership is not required for this scheme and the contracts entered into will automatically provide indemnity under the scheme.

The CNSC will not replace existing indemnity provisions made under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (“CNST”) and it has been confirmed that the new Nightingale Hospitals will be covered by CNST rather than CNSC.  Similarly, NHS Resolution have confirmed that those doctors and nurses returning to practice from retirement, or those joining as students will be covered by the CNST or, where applicable the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (“CNSGP”).  The CNSC will not cover returning midwives to the profession, but the Royal College of Midwives have confirmed that they will extend all of the benefits of membership including Medical Malpractice Insurance to returning retired midwives.

For more information regarding this please click here.

What if I get the status wrong?

As long as you can demonstrate that you have exercised reasonable care in determining status you have discharged your obligations in that respect. However, if you are unable to demonstrate this, you may as the end user client be responsible for the contractor’s tax and NIC’s.