Introducing… Jenny Wilde

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Introducing… Jenny Wilde

New Acuity partner Jenny Wilde sets out her ethos of regulatory empowerment for Health and Social Care Clients.

It’s a challenging time for health and social care providers, who face a shifting and uncertain regulatory landscape.

The health and social care sector must be robust in protecting the UK’s most vulnerable people, both adults and children. Its regulators, like the Care Quality Commission (CQC), are under pressure to prevent inappropriate treatment of patients and supported individuals – and evidence suggests that CQC prosecutions are rising.

Enter Jenny Wilde, our latest partner hire at Acuity Law, whose arrival strengthens our market-leading Healthcare offering with the addition of her extensive regulatory and compliance expertise.

“I only work for the care providers themselves.

As a girl fresh out of Bradford, she was attracted to the bright lights of London as a trainee and immersed herself in the niche speciality of health and social care regulation. Nowadays, Jenny is a true expert, having witnessed every regulatory problem that healthcare professionals can face.

“I only work for the care providers themselves. I have never worked for the regulator or a Local Authority and that’s my preference, so I’m not compromised in any way,” says Jenny.

A chunk of her work is for care homes and Jenny is acutely aware that, in this sector more than most, it’s all about people doing a job, often in difficult circumstances.

“It’s a very challenging time for social care providers generally. There is not a lot of money available to Local Authorities at the moment to fund the sector and the CQC and Ofsted, the two main regulators, are becoming more aggressive. It’s a changing terrain,” says Jenny.

Topping the list of challenges is an ongoing staffing shortage, exacerbated by immigration changes and the bruising Covid-19 pandemic.

“Securing and sustaining a strong staff team is absolutely essential to the success of a social care business. Reluctance of local authorities to pay increased fees (in line with cost-of-living increases), departure of international staff as a result of the pandemic and Brexit, plus an overly punitive regulator, means that providers have to work harder than ever to attract high quality staff,” she explains.

“Part of that process is ensuring that your service is portrayed by the regulator in the most balanced and proportionate light.”

“Health and social care clients may not be aware they can be supported with regulatory matters”

Another factor behind the sector’s many vacant positions is a perceived unequal standing between social care workers and their colleagues working in healthcare.

“Social care work is a really difficult job and people can be prosecuted for making a mistake – but often they are just getting paid relatively low wages compared with healthcare counterparts,” she says.

Jenny’s arrival bolsters the support provided by our Healthcare team to health and social care providers and businesses.

“Health and social care clients may not be aware they can be supported with regulatory matters, so I want to give knowledge and empowerment to them so they can challenge regulatory decisions and push back if they don’t think it’s fair.”

For more information about the Healthcare Regulatory support available at Acuity Law, get in touch.

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