Skip to content

What happens if a patient is admitted to critical care during the pandemic?

  • On admission to critical care, the risks, benefits and likely outcomes of the different treatment options should be discussed with patients, families and carers so they can make informed decisions about their treatment wherever possible.
  • A member of the critical care team should be involved in these discussions whenever the patient or team needs advice about critical care to make decisions about treatment.

Related FAQs

What about someone who refuses because they are against the vaccine (the anti-vaxers)?

It is a theoretical possibility that “anti-vax” beliefs could be a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 and therefore anti-vaxers have the right not to be discriminated against for their beliefs. Much will depend on why the individual is against the vaccine. Conspiracy theorists (the vaccine is being used as an opportunity to monitor you or it’s all because of 5G) are highly unlikely to be treated as having a philosophical belief!

Will HM Treasury continue to collect my apprenticeship levy payments?

HM Treasury have no current plans to pause the collection of apprenticeship levy payments from employers, therefore levy-paying employers must continue to make payments. There is also no plan to extend the 24 month period allowed to spend levy funds.

What is the "Job Retention Bonus"?

As a result of the CJRS being extended, the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021.

My planning permission is due to expire, can I extend the period for implementation?

The Government announced on 22 June 2020 that it would be making provisions to enable planning permissions that have lapsed since 23 March 2020, and those that are due to lapse before the end of 2020, to be automatically extended.
The Government’s detailed proposals are set out in section 17 of the Business and Planning Act 2020, which entered the statute books on 22 July 2020. If a relevant planning permission is subject to a condition which requires the development to be begun no later than between 19 August 2020 (when section 17 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 will come into effect) and 31 December 2020, the condition is automatically deemed to instead provide that the development must be begun no later than 1 May 2021.

The Act also makes provision for any conditions requiring development to be begun between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 20202 to be extended to 1 May 2021, although this is not automatic. Where the provisions have such retrospective effect, an application is required to the local planning authority. The local planning authority are only able to grant approval, however, if they are satisfied that any EIA and habitats assessments continue to be valid. Deemed approval provisions will apply if the local planning authority do not determine any application within 28 days. The local planning authority are not able to approve such applications after 31 December 2020 so applications should be made in good time in advance of this date. There is the possibility of an appeal against the local planning authority’s decision but notice of the appeal must be submitted before 31 December 2020.

The Act includes similar provisions in relation to both detailed and outline planning permissions.

What is the guidance in relation to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance for hospitals, care homes and supervisory bodies on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus pandemic.

In many scenarios created or affected by the pandemic, decision makers in hospitals and care homes will need to decide:

  • if new arrangements constitute a ‘deprivation of liberty’ (most will not), and
  • if the new measures do amount to a deprivation of liberty, whether a new DoLS authorisation will be required (in most cases it will not be).

If a new authorisation is required, decision makers should follow their usual DoLS processes, including those for urgent authorisations.

A summary of the key points to be taken from the guidance is outlined below:

Use of the MCA and DoLS due to Covid-19

  • During the pandemic, the principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply.
  • It may be necessary to change the usual care and treatment arrangements, for example to provide treatment for people with Covid-19, to move them to a new hospital or care home to better utilise resources or to protect them from becoming infected.
  • All decision makers are responsible for implementing the emergency Government health advice  and any decision made under the MCA must be made in relation to a particular individual, it cannot be made in relation to groups of people.

Best interest decisions

  • In many cases, a best interests decision will be sufficient to provide the necessary care and treatment for a person who lacks the capacity to consent to the care and/or treatment arrangements during this emergency period.
  • If an individual has made a valid and applicable advance decision to refuse the treatment in question, then the relevant treatment, even for Covid-19, cannot be provided.

Delivering life-saving treatment

  • Where life-saving treatment is being provided in care homes or hospitals, including for the treatment of Covid-19, then the person will not be deprived of liberty as long as the treatment is the same as would normally be given to any person without a mental disorder.
  • The DoLS will therefore not apply to the vast majority of patients who need life-saving treatment who lack the mental capacity to consent to that treatment, including treatment to prevent the deterioration of a person with Covid-19.

The full guidance can be found here.