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HEALTHCARE

The medical and healthcare professions are perhaps the most highly regulated of all; in ensuring quality, detailed and far-reaching rules are often necessary.

 

Littleton members have developed a particular expertise in cases with a medical dimension, and an absolute command of the culture, procedures and intricacies of litigation in the NHS or concerning healthcare professionals. We cover the full suite of disciplinary and regulatory work in this field including:

  • Fitness to practise proceedings
  • Internal disciplinary and appeal hearings
  • Investigations and advisory work
  • Injunctions (particularly concerning MHPS)
  • Judicial review
  • Pay, equal pay and contract disputes in the County Court, High Court and Employment Tribunal 
  • Duty of candour/whistleblowing complaints and issues
  • Inquests and inquiries
  • Medical treatment cases (particularly relating to DNR and life-sustaining treatment cases).

 

Our barristers regularly act for NHS trusts, national organisations and agencies, surgeries, doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals. They have experience of the major healthcare regulators and representative bodies including the General Medical Council (and Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service), Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, General Optical Council and Health Professions Councils. Littleton barristers act as legal advisers to regulatory bodies in healthcare as well as acting as disciplinary officers, appeal chairs and independent investigators. Some of our barristers hold specialist medical and medico-legal qualifications.

 

Littleton is particularly well regarded for medical injunction cases and for its investigatory offering.

 

Our silks and juniors have appeared, often together, in some of the leading cases in the specialist area of doctors’ injunctions arising from alleged breaches of the NHS framework on discipline.

 

What can Littleton offer clients? In short, the highest level of strategic advice and representation encompassing multiple types of claim arising out of one set of facts or problems. Barristers undertaking this kind of work at Littleton are able to give meaningful advice straddling employment disputes, fitness issues, injunctive relief and contractual obligations during, for example, suspensions, restrictions and exclusions, as well as top level knowledge of equalities law.

 

Examples of recent cases (aside from the many medical injunctions which are mainstream to members of this group) include:

  • Defending a trust against multiple pay and discrimination claims brought by agency workers
  • Securing a civil restraint order against a ‘vexatious’ healthcare litigant
  • Obtaining a complete overturning of disciplinary decisions made by an NHS Trust in a highly complex negligence cross-over case
  • Investigating allegations of bullying and harassment by senior medical professionals
  • Defending individuals accused of bullying and harassment
  • Defending highly publicised religious discrimination complaints in a paediatric setting
  • Presenting the management case in an extremely complex medico-legal matter involving a patient death
  • Advising and representing a patient through the Official Solicitor in respect of the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration
  • Representing a disabled doctor in fitness to practise/interim orders hearings concerning alleged impairment
  • Sitting as legal adviser to high profile healthcare regulator
  • Advising in highly confidential case concerning a regulator and gender recognition directive/registration issues
  • Representing a consultant in a case in which MHPS was alleged to have been breached
  • Defending a trust in a case in which a medical professional was alleged to have committed serious sexual offences against a minor outside work
  • Advising an insurer as to a regulation 28 Coroner’s notice response concerning fatalities of teenaged drivers
  • Acting for a rail company at an inquest into passenger suicide
  • Representing the ambulance services in inquests, inquiries and claims of failure to respond in a timely fashion.

 

Littleton’s reputation in this area is such that barristers are often against each other in line with our strict information barrier protocol.

 

We are delighted to offer lunchtime (or after work) talks on all of the above areas

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Co-Heads of our Professional Discipline Group: Carol Davis and Niran de Silva.

 


 

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