The consequences of failing to adhere
with Care Quality Commission’s
regulatory framework for registration

26 June 2020

In September 2017, the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) was informed by Portsmouth City Council about a care home, Golden Years, which had been operating since 2 March 2015. 
 

The CQC contacted Golden Years about not being registered from October 2017 to September 2019.  Golden Years’ directors made several attempts to register with the CQC, however each application was rejected as the required standards had not been met. 

Golden Years admitted to carrying out a regulated activity without the required registration thereby breaching section 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Section 10 states:

Requirement to register as a service provider

  1. Any person who carries on a regulated activity without being registered under this Chapter in respect of the carrying on of that activity is guilty of an offence.

Following prosecution, the CQC obtained orders for a fine of £34,833 to be paid by the directors, £9,000 in costs and £170 victim surcharge.  The CQC commented that “[t]his is one of the largest fines handed out to an unregistered provider.  I would hope the size of this fine would send a very clear message to anyone thinking of operating a service without registering with the Care Quality Commission”.

Why is registration so important?

Registration is designed to ensure that only those who meet the CQC’s standards can operate care homes.

The standards are unsurprisingly high given they are designed to protect those who are commonly more vulnerable and therefore may not be able to report physical, mental or financial abuse and poor care. Registration is the CQC’s primary mechanism to ensure that it has continued oversight of operators.  This oversight imposes strict obligations on care home operators in terms of reporting deaths, allegations of abuse, serious injury and any incidents reported to the police.

How can you get registered?

Applications for registration can take some time.  To become registered you need to:

  1. Obtain Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
  2. Prepare a Statement of Purpose which must include:
    1. Your aims and objectives
    2. The services you intend to provide
    3. The different needs your service meets
    4. Your contact details
    5. Your service’s legal entity
    6. The places where services are provided.
  3. Obtain references and prepare a financial viability assessment (these differ depending on the nature of the application)
    1. Individuals must provide their employment history, their GP’s name and contact details, their last employer and a declaration of medical fitness
    2. Partnerships need to supply all the above individual information for each partner
    3. Financial assurances must be provided.

It is important that the information you provide the CQC is accurate and provides all the required information.  Even then, registration is not guaranteed, as the refusals in this case demonstrate.

Kingsley Napley specialises in assisting new providers to register with the CQC and in respect of any proposed enforcement action later down the line.

About the authors

Shannett Thompson is a Senior Associate in the Regulatory team. She is a highly experienced lawyer taking the lead in defending health professionals before their regulatory bodies including the GMC. She has substantial experience in advising individuals in relation to their regulatory obligations in the wider context.

Sophie Bolzonello is an Associate, Australian Qualified, in Kingsley Napley’s Regulatory departmentSophie specialises in advising regulated professionals on compliance, in investigations and in respect of enforcement action. She also advises regulators on policy, governance, prosecutions and litigation.

 

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