PLC Public Sector reports:
The Heyday case, patient confidentiality, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and data security all feature on this week’s list of recommended actions.
This week’s actions are:
Retirement age: the Heyday case confirmed that the default retirement age of 65 is not contrary to the Equal Treatment Framework Directive so employers can still require employers can still enforce a designated retirement age of 65. However, this is likely to be a temporary reprieve only, as the Government is expected to raise or remove the default retirement age after its scheduled 2010 review.
Data security: Grampian NHS has been added to the list of public sector organisations that have had to give undertakings to the ICO. All public sector organisations that have not recently done so, must review and then enforce their data security policies to ensure that they are not next on the list.
Direct payments: advisers dealing with the provision of direct payments in lieu of services should note that subsections (1) to (7) of the HSCA 2008 will come into force on 9 November 2009.
NHS Consultants and patient confidentiality: anyone advising PCTs should note the report of the Co-operation and Competition Panel for NHS-Funded Services, which has declared that consultants should not be barred from working for other NHS-funded organisations during non-contracted hours. The new GMC guidance on patient confidentiality will also be of interest.
Business rate supplements: local authority lawyers should note that the minimum rateable value for applying a business rate supplement has been set at £50,000.
Assessing care needs: the LGO’s report on Croydon highlights the need for local authorities to ensure that departments work together when assessing the needs of a service user and also take account of the needs of the family as a whole. In this instance, the LGO found that Croydon had failed to take account of the needs of the whole family and also that the children’s services and education departments had assessed the complainant using different criteria.
New planning regulations: planning lawyers should note that new regulations came into force on 1 October 2009 that allow changes to existing planning permissions.
Consultations: this week saw consultations on the framework for quality accounts and revising the minimum standards for adoption, children’s homes and fostering.
If you wish to submit your views on any of the actions we have recommended, or would like to highlight any other issues that you feel need action by public sector lawyers, please feel free to submit a comment below.