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What are the NICE protocols around a patient’s ongoing treatment whilst in critical care during the pandemic?

  • Start critical care treatment with a clear plan of how the treatment will address the diagnosis and lead to agreed outcomes.
  • Review critical care treatment regularly and when the patient’s clinical condition changes.
  • Stop critical care treatment when it is no longer considered able to achieve the desired outcomes. Record the decision and the discussion with family, carers and the patient (if possible).

Related FAQs

What are the data protection implications of homeworking?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announce new guidance in light of coronavirus.

The ICO is providing new guidance to organisations regarding data protection and coronavirus, which can be accessed here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus/

The ICO has stated the following:

Data protection is not a barrier to increased and different types of homeworking. During the pandemic, staff may work from home more frequently than usual and they can use their own device or communications equipment. Data protection law doesn’t prevent that, but you’ll need to consider the same kinds of security measures for homeworking that you’d use in normal circumstances.”

Whether you work from home or in the office, you still need to comply with data protection laws. While you need to process personal data with the same care you use in the office, the home working environment throws up specific data protection concerns particularly in respect of data security. You should make sure you have a home working policy which deals with data protection and these data security issues.

 Organisations must ensure that, for staff who can work from home, their obligations in respect of processing personal data are clearly communicated. Organisations may already have a home working policy – if this is the case, then this should be reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date for practices during this pandemic.

What security will be required for CBILS?

At the discretion of the lender, the Scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under.

Lenders were required to demonstrate lending additionality (i.e. lending that without the Scheme, wouldn’t have otherwise taken place). The Scheme has been extended to those businesses who would have previously met requirements for a commercial facility and would not have been eligible for CBILS.  As a result  it is suggested that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating.

Primary Residential Property cannot be taken as Security under the Scheme. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the Scheme, they will do so.

What is the government guidance on making places of work as safe as possible to return to?

The government has produced a series of industry specific “Covid-19 Secure” guidelines, which employers should follow. These guidelines are designed to keep the risk of infection as low as possible, while allowing as many people as possible to resume their livelihoods.

What is the latest update from the Civil Court?

Almost two thirds of hearings conducted in the Civil Court will occur in person over the next few months as the Civil Court sees an influx in cases.

The Courts

In the Business & Property Courts, cases have been dealt with consistently since the start of the pandemic, except for trials that run for longer than 10 days in the Commercial & Admiralty Court. The Queen’s Bench Division and Administrative Court are also running as normal. If your case is listed for one of these courts, you do not need to be concerned that your case may take longer than anticipated, with conclusions still being reach at the normal rate.

Hearings

Since the start of the pandemic, most hearings have been conducted online through various platforms such as Skype for Business and Cloud Video Platform. The courts are of the view that remote hearings tend to take longer than those that are held in person. As a result, if your case is due to be held in person, the case may be heard in less time. HM Courts and Tribunals Service stated that:

Wherever possible we will look to facilitate face-to-face hearings, but our expectation is that remote hearings will continue to play an important role for the foreseeable future, given that social distancing will continue to limit courtroom capacity compared to pre-Covid levels.”

More courtrooms have become available since the start of the pandemic, resulting in more facilities for cases to be heard in person, which will have the aim of helping to rid of the backlog of cases, along with remote hearings being conducted too, which is a welcome step forward.

Approximately 300 additional support staff will be employed for remote hearings before the end of 2020, enabling better service with remote hearings. The Government has decided that some civil judges will have the option to extend operating hours for cases to be held in the evenings and on weekends too, which may be most suitable for small and fast-track claims, resulting in a potentially faster outcome. The efficiency of all the new measures are being monitored and changes are being implemented, such as increasing the capacity of the Small Claims Mediation Service.

Small Claims Mediation Service

With claims of a lower value, a high proportion of cases successfully settle outside of court, therefore, if you have a small claim, the mediation service may be suitable for your case. Mediation involves a trained impartial third party, with the parties to the case discuss the dispute with the assistance of the third party, aiming to reach a settlement. Now with the increased capacity, it may make the mediation service more accessible, meaning that an agreement can be reached more swiftly rather than waiting for the matter proceed to a hearing.

The courts have stated that:

We aim to increase capacity to accommodate 90% of parties who want mediation, rather than the current 40%. We are recruiting additional mediators and restructuring ways of working to achieve this.”

This is a positive shift for those with small and fast-track claims where legal costs ought to be kept to a minimum. Settling by mediation removes the need for trial costs, amongst other costs, and has additional benefits such as the matter being dealt with more amicably.

Who is responsible for arranging the remote hearing in COP matters?

Where one or more of the parties is represented, responsibility for making the arrangements for the remote hearing will fall on either the applicant or the first represented party. If no party is legally represented, the court office will contact the parties to explain that the hearing will be held by telephone conference and will send them instructions on how this is to be achieved.

All remote hearings must be recorded. The responsibility for arranging the recording will be addressed on a case by case basis.