• Privacy and confidentiality are key tenets of health and social care practice – how are these protected when cases come to court about a person’s health and social care?

    In this session, Alex Ruck-Keene KC (Hon) from 39 Essex Chambers considered:

    • An overview of private vs public hearings in the Court of Protection and the inherent jurisdiction (both for vulnerable adults and children);
    • Transparency Orders and Reporting Restriction Orders – what do they mean in practice?
    • The general approach to date to the anonymity of P, their family, treating health and social care professionals and provider/commissioner organisations;
    • Abbassi and Haastrup: a case summary of the issues and positions before the Court of Appeal; and
    • What might this mean for the future of anonymity in health and social care cases?

    Alex represented the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine as an intervener before the Court of Appeal in the case of Abbassi and Haastrup, where permission was granted to the parents of two children to challenge the decision of the President of the High Court’s Family Division not to discharge the reporting restriction orders in place (Abbasi & Anor v Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 1699 (Fam)). The particular issue that the Court of Appeal is considering is the appropriateness of an indefinite order to anonymise treating professionals. The Court of Appeal’s decision is awaited.

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