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Legal Information

Date: Tuesday, 12th May 2020 | Category: Covid-19, Covid-19 Volunteering

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act received royal assent on 25 March 2020.  The proposals set out in the Act will significantly enhance the ability of public bodies across the UK to provide an effective response to tackle this epidemic by introducing temporary legislation and regulatory easing.

The legislation will be time-limited – for 2 years – and not all of the measures will come into force immediately.

The easing includes:

  • NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Assessments

Provision to allow NHS Providers to delay undertaking the assessment process for NHS CHC assessments until after the coronavirus outbreak has ended.

  • Temporary amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983

Allowing a single approved practitioner or a single medical practitioner to undertake certain functions and extension of time limits relating to detention and transfer of patients.

  • NHS and Local Authority (LA) care and support

Covers three provisions during the Coronavirus pandemic:

(1)  Provision that a LA may lawfully prioritise who and what type of needs it will meet, rather than being required to meet all eligible assessed needs as specified under the Care Act 2014.

(2)  Provision that LA’s may lawfully determine whether and the extent to which it will carry out assessments in individual’s needs and review care plans, or carry out financial assessments, rather than being required to carry these out in all cases as is currently set out in the Care Act.

(3)  Provision for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct LA’s in relation to the prioritisation of services to meet care and support needs in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.


Legal Advice

Voices in Exile

Do you have Limited Leave to Remain (LTR) with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)? Have you recently lost your job or part of your income because of Covid-19? If so, you can get free legal advice on removing the NRPF condition so that you can claim benefits.

Email or call the Voices in Exile advice line: 01273 082105 (Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm, Thursdays 2-4pm or Fridays 11am-1pm).

Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian have introduced a rapid check process (within 24 hours), recognising the increase of need to check the validity and scope of LPAs (Lasting Power of Attorney).

Guidance for NHS and social care staff is available: check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy.

The OPG have also produced advice and guidance around their response to the outbreak, which will be updated here.

Disclosure & Barring Service

The Disclosure & Barring Service have produced an FAQ document to address concerns that people supporting their community may have at this time. You can access this here.