How We Can Help You

At Ridouts, we understand the intricacies of the health and social care sector, recognising the nuanced details that can significantly impact your business. Specialising in providing comprehensive legal, operational, and strategic guidance, we stand ready to assist providers confronted with challenges that could potentially harm their enterprises.

Our team of experts is dedicated to delivering tailored solutions and advice across a spectrum of services, ensuring your business is equipped to navigate and thrive in a complex regulatory landscape. Explore the services and advice our professionals offer to safeguard and enhance your business.



Providers may find themselves involved in local authority safeguarding investigations, whether that is through self-reported matters or because third-parties make a referral or allegation.

Adult section 42 Investigations

Child/Young Person Section 47 investigation

Embargoes/Restrictions of Admissions

Large-Scale Investigation

Contracts Cancelled and Service Users Removed

Ridouts can help you by:

  • Securing early and full disclosure of allegations and helping providers respond to them;
  • Helping providers to present evidence to challenge allegations, where necessary;
  • Emphasising that authorities should carry out investigations fairly and swiftly;
  • Attending meetings to help providers put across their case thoroughly and clearly;
  • Challenging the removal of service users by helping residents secure their own legal representation in conjunction with providers;
  • Challenging embargoes/suspension of placements and cancellation of contracts;
  • Challenging procedurally unfair processes and procedures.

Notice of Proposal (NOP) and Notice of Decision (NOD) to cancel, suspend or vary your registration

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted have extensive enforcement powers which can lead to significant restrictions and obligations being placed on a provider’s registration.

Cancelling, Suspending, Varying your Registration

Notices of Proposal, Decision, Magistrates’ Order

Proposal v. Urgent Action

Pre-Curser Letter of Intent

Effects of Enforcement Action

Ridouts can help you by:

  • Assisting with responses to Letters of Intent to provide reassurance to the regulators that enforcement action is not required;
  • Advising on the strength of the case contained within NOPs and NODs;
  • Drafting comprehensive responses to NOPs and NODs and identifying supportive evidence;
  • Appealing NODs to the Tribunal; including drafting witness statements, attending case management hearings and preparing bundles for disclosure;
  • Representing health and social care providers at emergency closure hearings in the Magistrates’ Court.


The purpose of an inquest is to establish facts. It is not to apportion blame and the conclusion should not use language that suggests civil or criminal liability. However, there are conclusions and language used that may have a negative impact on your service, including findings of neglect.

Providers can participate in proceedings, and often it is beneficial to do so as it allows a provider to access documentation they would not otherwise be entitled to; ask witnesses questions; make submissions on the scope of the inquest and possible conclusions (if legally represented); and minimise the possibility of a Prevention of Future Deaths report (PFD Report) being issued. This is a report that Coroners have a duty to issue at the end of an inquest if they believe steps could be taken by parties to prevent deaths arising from similar circumstances in the future. If a PFD Report is issued to you, a response must be provided. The PFD Report and responses are usually published.

If managed properly then the risk of damage to your business from negative findings can be minimised.

Ridouts can help you by:

  • Securing providers ‘interested person’ status;
  • Obtaining disclosure;
  • Advising on the evidence;
  • Taking witness statements;
  • Making legal representations to the Coroner;
  • Advising on responses to PFD Reports from the Coroner;
  • Advising on the merits of any further contemplated proceedings;
  • Help to manage media interest in conjunction with a PR firm, where necessary.

Warning Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices

The CQC can issue a Warning Notice to health and social care providers. This can be on the basis that the provider is deemed to have failed to, or is continuing to fail to, comply with a legal requirement. Providers are given the opportunity to make representations about why a Warning Notice should be withdrawn or not be published.

If representations are not made to a Warning Notice, then the provider will be deemed to have accepted the findings. The CQC has the power to publish information about Warning Notices and this can lead to press attention, reputational damage, and prompt the interest of other parties such as commissioners.

The CQC can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice where a health and social care provider has failed, amongst other reasons, to comply with relevant legislation. Each individual breach can attract a fine of up to £4,000, which can escalate.

Ridouts can help you by:

  • Challenging the accuracy of any Warning Notice or Fixed Penalty Notice;
  • Making submissions about the public interest value of publishing any Warning Notice;
  • Supporting clients with advice on how to manage public relations issues relating to press interest in a notice.

Due Diligence

When purchasing or selling a health and social care business you’re not just dealing with bricks and mortar.  All are subject to regulation, contracts and multi-stakeholder interest.  There are many aspects which can help assess the health and value of the business.

Selling a business – Ridouts can help prepare a business for sale.  We can spot issues which may cause concern for purchasers allowing vendors to eliminate the problem ahead of time, or prepare an explanation which could comfort purchasers.

Buying a business – Ridouts also act for purchasers. We help to identify regulatory issues that may affect the value of the business and therefore the appropriate purchase price.  We can provide a report to the purchaser and provide warranties to insert into the Sale and Purchase Agreement (where there is a share sale) or the Business Purchase Agreement (where there is an asset sale).

Professional Disciplinary

When dealing with any form of disciplinary procedure, things can get difficult and complicated. If you do have to deal with a professional regulator alongside your provider regulator, Ridouts team of specialist lawyers can advise on both aspects as each is likely to impact on the other.

Ridouts can help you by:

  • Advising and representing providers faced with GMC, NMC, GDC or HCPA proceedings;
  • Challenging decisions to impose interim orders against nurses or doctors;
  • Challenging, in appropriate cases, that there is no case to answer with the result that the case never reaches a substantive hearing;
  • Help to identify the evidence which a panel is most likely to find persuasive if individuals do attend a hearing;
  • Drafting witness statements and helping to identify which are the most appropriate documents to exhibit;
  • Conducting the advocacy at interim order or substantive hearings;
  • Help conducting appeals against professional regulators in the High Court, if appropriate.

Get In Touch

Ridouts is a team of specialist health and social care lawyers, providing dedicated legal advice for care homes, GP practices, children’s homes, dental practices, domiciliary and home care agencies, supported and independent living services and both private and NHS hospitals.     •     +44 (0) 207 317 0340   
7-10 Chandos Street, W1G 9DQ, London

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