Remote
£29,000 - £33,000 per year
Permanent, Part-time, 20-35, Full-time
Job description

We have an exciting opportunity for experienced and skilled advocates to join the staff of a unique social enterprise. The core function of this role is to provide specialist advocacy to individuals who are navigating the NHS continuing healthcare assessment and complaints process. With a long history in delivering skilled advocacy and training in NHS continuing healthcare, we want you to be part of a strong team committed to delivering excellence and achieving success in line with our commercial and social objectives.

You will be an excellent communicator and skilled advocate with a minimum of 2 years’ experience working within the field of NHS continuing healthcare or a similar role with a transferrable knowledgebase. A health, social care, advocacy or legal qualification is desirable but not essential. A proven ability to analyse complex matters, provide a clear and coherent rationale and deliver robust advocacy by presenting a persuasive, fact-based argument is essential.

The successful candidate will have excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to engage effectively with a range of stakeholders in challenging circumstances. You will be able to establish a good rapport with clients in a professional and caring manner, upholding brand values.

In return, you can look forward to working with a highly-skilled and dynamic team and having influence over the future strategic direction of the company. We also offer a competitive salary with performance-related bonus and an excellent benefits package.

This role is based at our Oxfordshire office but with flexibility to work from home (note all staff currently working from home due to COVID-19). Opportunities nationally. Ability to travel long distances to attend client meetings across England is essential.

 

 

MAIN DUTIES:

  1. To provide advocacy and active case support in person or virtually to clients in England and Wales, throughout the NHS continuing healthcare assessment process.
  2. Please note: most assessments are currently being completed virtually via videoconference, however we expect a proportion of in-person assessments to resume in the near future. Applicants will need to be comfortable with both working from home and also regular long-distance travel to assessment meetings across England and Wales (including overnight stays where necessary), often with only two or three days’ notice.
  3. To analytically examine all relevant care records and assessments in preparation for continuing healthcare assessments and reviews, to prepare clients for their assessment and provide robust advocacy at assessment meetings based upon a sound understanding of the facts, and referencing evidence compiled from such records.
  4. To provide advocacy and casework to clients who wish to make a formal complaint through the NHS complaints procedure about a continuing healthcare-related matter from a sound understanding of the facts, having prepared key arguments by researching relevant records (note the complaint process is different to the appeal process).
  5. To support the casework team from time to time in the preparation of submissions which will be presented to relevant Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England panels.
  6. To provide specialist information and advice to our clients tailored to their specific situation and needs regarding the interpretation of a primary health need from a thorough understanding of relevant criteria, assessment frameworks and legal tests which are based upon case-law. 
  7. To keep informed of issues, policies, guidance and legislation affecting clients ensuring that the information provided is relevant, current, complete and accurate.
  8. To respond to new referrals by making prompt initial contact with the client within the timescales specified by company policies.
  9. Work closely and efficiently with health professionals from relevant Continuing Healthcare (CHC) teams with the aim of resolving client issues at the earliest possible opportunity so as to provide an efficient and cost-effective service, and to minimise stress for the client.
  10. To develop and maintain working relationships with health and social care colleagues within the field of Continuing Healthcare in order to influence best practice.
  11. To work with partner organisations and stakeholders to share knowledge, make appropriate referrals, maintain consistency and draw upon each other’s expertise, always striving to improve the quality of both services and provide a better customer experience.
  12. To keep relevant and sufficiently detailed case records at each stage and as the case progresses; ensuring that all client information is kept up to date in line with Beacon’s systems and procedures, including data protection (GDPR) policies.  This applies to case files, database entries, authority forms, client correspondence, use of the project management system, filing and archiving.  
  13. To minimise business costs and maximise income for the company by meeting chargeable time targets, working efficiently, charging clients appropriately and in a timely manner.
  14. To uphold the principles of paralegal casework as specified by the Institute of Paralegals, providing a good standard of client care by working with skill and competence thereby ensuring clients are able to place their trust in you.
  15. To uphold organisational values, promoting Beacon’s social goals through each area of your work.
  16. To manage your own caseload and work independently within the boundaries of Beacon policies and procedures.
  17. To undergo a minimum of 12 hours of professional development each year.  To foster an atmosphere of continuous learning and development.
  18. Attend line management, supervision and team meetings as appropriate, and to play a full part in the development and success of Beacon.

The above is not an exhaustive list of duties and you will be expected to perform different tasks as necessitated by your developing role and the overall objectives of the companies.

This post may be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Baring Service check or equivalent.

 

STAFF BENEFITS: Pension Scheme, Generous Annual Leave Entitlement, Death in Service Benefit 4x salary, Flexible Working, Health & Dental Care Plan, Professional Development Plan, Employee Rewards Scheme (Perkbox) and Performance-Related Bonus.

 

Background Information

NHS Continuing Healthcare is the name given to a package of health care that some people need to receive as a result of a disability, accident or illness. Individuals who are assessed as eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare will have the full cost of their care and accommodation funded by the NHS.

The criteria for determining eligibility is highly complex and can be very difficult to understand because it is based upon case law and often poorly-understood legal tests rather than primary legislation.  Our experience has shown that there is a lot of confusion surrounding continuing healthcare because of the complex nature of the criteria, as well as lengthy and detailed assessment processes.  Likewise, the appeal process can be very daunting and perplexing to individuals who do not know what to expect.

Over the past 16 years, Age UK Oxfordshire has provided a free advice, support, advocacy and active casework service to individuals in the South of England going through the assessment or appeal process.  In that time they have worked with over 7,500 families and won over 70% of appeals, establishing a national reputation for quality advice and casework within continuing healthcare professional circles.

Beacon is the trading name of Ethical Legal Services Ltd, a company which has evolved from Age UK Oxfordshire’s original continuing healthcare project. Beacon utilises the extensive experience of its casework team to fill both a commercial gap and a social need in the national support market for continuing healthcare.  Beacon aims to ensure that individuals receive a fair, accurate & comprehensive assessment of need, being empowered to make informed appeal choices. Beacon is a social enterprise, producing operating surpluses which are donated to charity to support vital services for older people.

Beacon operates an ethical business model which places the client at the heart of the process and aims to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients through robust and non-confrontational engagement with CCGs. Our team of advisers and caseworkers have established a strong reputation for their thorough understanding of the eligibility criteria and key principles, combining excellent client engagement with high-quality case representation. In seven years we have supported 40,000 people and achieved a consistently high quality score from our clients.

 

Our Values

At Beacon, we employ people who want to do things differently to other organisations working in this field. Five values sum up our culture and how we treat our clients and our staff:

  1. Ethical

Commitment to our clients

We operate with honesty and integrity. We are transparent about our funding set-up and our fees, which we keep as low as we sensibly can. We never ‘hard sell’ our services, we keep you informed at every step, and we always give our honest opinion of your chances of success. As a social enterprise, we donate any profits to charity.

Commitment to our team

We operate with honesty and integrity, and always work hard to get the best results for our clients and the business. We work to high standards, and trust our people to respectfully speak out if we fall short.

  1. Expert

Commitment to our clients

We pride ourselves on being recognised as leading independent experts in NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC). We apply our knowledge and experience to help every case and caller. We also strive to improve CHC for everyone, by training health and social care professionals.

Commitment to our team

We are the leading experts in our field. We encourage and value innovation and evolution in what we do, and how we do it. We are united in developing the business and its services.

  1. Personal

Commitment to our clients

By listening carefully to you and the people who really know about your care needs, we can provide excellent advice and powerful advocacy tailored to your unique situation.

Commitment to our team

We get results by getting to know our clients. We do the same with our people, offering flexible working options to suit your circumstances, and taking time out to have fun as a team.

  1. Compassionate

Commitment to our clients

We are mindful of the immense stress that our callers and clients can be under, at what is often a really tough time. We do our best to lift some of that burden by providing a quality service that you can trust, and by being compassionate and courteous at all times.

Commitment to our team

The nature of the work can be stressful and emotionally draining. We take care and time to look out for each other, and encourage healthy work habits.

  1. Rewarding

Commitment to our team

We take the time to celebrate success and are inspired by one another’s achievements. We provide a generous and varied suite of benefits that can be enjoyed by our people and their families. 

Posted on: 24 September 2021
Closed date: 11 October 2021
Tags: Legal, Advocacy

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