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Alexandra is a Partner in our Healthcare Providers team and has considerable experience in advising on protocols and policies in the healthcare sector, particularly those raising issues of human rights and medical ethics.
She is frequently instructed to attend inquests on behalf of healthcare bodies and has represented a large number of care homes and mental health hospitals.
Alexandra Johnstone is known for her in-depth knowledge of mental health law and handles inquests for a number of care homes and mental health hospitals. Legal 500 2019
RadcliffesLeBrasseur’s ‘top drawer’ group is ‘at the forefront’ in acting for private healthcare providers and care homes, as well as representing NHS clients in inquests, investigations, Court of Protection claims and issues arising under mental health law. Legal 500 2017
RadcliffesLeBrasseur is highly regarded for mental health law, and frequently instructed to represent mental health providers in Court of Protection proceedings. The firm remains a noted name for handling inquests, and Alexandra Johnstone was part of a team representing an NHS Foundation Trust on an inquest into the death of a prisoner. Legal 500 2015
Areas of Expertise
Alexandra advises on claims for NHS and private mental health hospitals, including those arising from the care of prisoners. She has experience with claims arising from the deaths of patients, particularly in connection with patients who have taken their lives when on leave, and concerning the failure of assessments. She regularly undertakes advocacy at inquests.
She has a particular interest in issues relating to mental capacity and has been involved in a number of Court of Protection cases, including defending challenges to DoLS authorisations brought by residents of care homes.
She is regularly asked to lecture to a wide range of healthcare providers on issues such as mental health law, capacity, consent and inquests.
Alexandra’s recent experience includes:
- Acting on numerous inquests on behalf of healthcare bodies, including a large number of deaths in prison.
- Advising Mental Health Trusts on various public law issues, including the merits of a proposed judicial review of a decision of the CQC on performance rating.
- Advice on a range of issues relating to capacity and/or validity of patient’s consent, including advising a hospital on a 16 year old patient refusing treatment for anorexia where parental consent could not be obtained.
- Representing Trusts and Care Homes in a number of cases before the Court of Protection relating to health and welfare issues, including an important case challenging the opinion of a jointly appointed expert regarding capacity.
- Advising a Responsible Clinician about the legal issues raised in treatment of a patient on hunger strike.
- Advice on a number of data protection issues, including disclosure of patient information.
- Assistance in drafting and advising on a range of policies, taking into account changes in healthcare law.
- Advising a Mental Health Trust on whether a ban on the use of mobile phones in hospitals was unlawful.
- Acting for a Mental Health Trust in a patient’s judicial review of an RMO’s decision to contact his parents for treatment purposes.
- Acting and advising Mental Health Trusts in judicial reviews over decisions to close hospitals.
- Successfully defending a Mental Health Trust in a claim for unlawful detention by a patient who alleged the incorrect Nearest Relative had been consulted.
- Reviewing a number of hospital policies and protocols, for example, Do Not Resuscitate Policies and Consent Policies.
- Representing two nurses charged with serious professional misconduct in the longest fitness to practise case in the NMC’s history.
- Mental Health Inquiry in Prisons Launched
25 May 2021 | Healthcare | Mental health law
- A New Legal Duty for Clinicians
22 April 2020 | Healthcare | Healthcare Professionals
- The Coronavirus Act 2020 and what it means for the social care sector – published by CMM
6 April 2020 | Healthcare
- What could Covid-19 mean for Inquest Witnesses?
26 March 2020 | Care homes | Healthcare
- Updated guidance on Inquests during Covid-19 crisis
26 March 2020 | Care homes | Healthcare | Healthcare Professionals
- COVID-19 – Significant Proposed Mental Health Act Changes
20 March 2020 | Healthcare | Mental health law
- Extension of the Article 2 ECHR boundaries?
7 January 2020 | Healthcare | Mental health law
- The Supreme Court’s Judgment on the Limits of the Exercise of Parental Responsibility
27 September 2019 | Healthcare | Healthcare Professionals | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 255 – The case of AB: Inherent jurisdiction and the use of conditional discharge for patients with capacity
21 January 2019 | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 252 – Bringing proceedings before the First-Tier Tribunal: A question of capacity
14 September 2018 | Care homes | Healthcare | Mental health law
- The use of CCTV in care homes – The legal issues
1 August 2018 | Care homes | Healthcare | Primary care
- Care home briefing 181 – The withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration – Is court approval required?
31 July 2018 | Care homes | Healthcare | Primary care
- Care homes briefing 176 – Mental Capacity Act: Assistance in making decisions
31 January 2018 | Care homes
- Care home briefing 150 – The use of CCTV in care homes: the legal issues
29 September 2015 | Care homes
- Mental health law briefing 209 – To consult or not to consult the nearest relative?
30 September 2014 | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 203 – Mental health patient undergoes forced caesarean section
31 March 2014 | Mental health law
- Care home briefing 126 – Liverpool Care Pathway: Rightly laid to rest?
31 August 2013 | Care homes
- Care home briefing 115 – The right to treatment regardless of age
31 August 2012 | Care homes
- Mental health law briefing 181 – Search policies
4 June 2012 | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 176 – Olympics: Diplomatic immunity
26 March 2012 | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 169 – Public hearings in the Mental Health Tribunal
30 December 2011 | Mental health law
- Mental health law briefing 160 – Damages for negligent dosage of lamotrigine
6 December 2010 | Mental health law