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Stewart Gregory

Partner - Brighton & Hove

25th January 2019

CQC Enforcement action – learning points for care homes

As all care home owners and mangers will know, inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) can put significant strain on a care home, both in terms of day-to-day operations and longer-term financial sustainability. The CQC inspections are, of course, there for a very good reason and have unquestionably improved care home provision across the UK.

In a recent case, a group of 18 care homes owned by a South East operator were subject to enforcement powers imposed by the CQC. The enforcement action was subject to a Tribunal ruling which ultimately upheld the original conditions set by the CQC. The comments made by the Judge during the Tribunal provide valuable learning points for care homes about their responsibilities,

“The decisions regarding conditions are objectively justified and necessary in order to uphold the public interest in the protection of the safety and well-being of service users and to maintain and promote public confidence in the system of regulation. In our view, the decision to impose each of the conditions on the provider is reasonable, necessary, and proportionate to the legitimate public interest.”

Further lessons can be learnt from the comments cast by the chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, Andrea Sutcliffe. She said that the CQC’s inspectors had found “a pattern of poor care” and that “services have been deteriorating, people have been put at risk, and the provider has been slow to respond to incidents or deal with people’s healthcare needs”.

Other specific areas of concern highlighted by the CQC were, risks from choking, lack of access to call bells, falls, poor hydration management, improper use of pressure-relieving equipment, and poor staff practice that went unchallenged by managers.

Contact Rix & Kay’s specialist Healthcare and Later Life Team

Rix & Kay’s specialist Healthcare and Later Life Team are instrumental in leading the firm’s thought leadership initiatives in the Care home sector and have a detailed understanding of the complex issues surrounding care homes including care home funding, the care quality commission and the stringent assessment policies it sets to determine the quality of care provision in the UK.

For more information contact Stewart Gregory:
e. stewartgregory@rixandkay.co.uk

 

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