Care Homes / CQC: Achieving Regulatory Compliance
As owner or manager of a care home or of a care service you are required to operate it in a fully compliant way.
The overarching objective of the regulatory framework is no different to that of any other regulated sector: to achieve the highest standards of care and safety. Further, no care business should face unfair competition from others who cannot or will not adhere to proper standards. So, those who enter the sector should be fit and competent to gain admission to it and then continue to provide excellent care.
To ensure proper standards are maintained there must be a continuing and dynamic regime of excellent operational management, training, recruitment, monitoring and supervision.
Within the care sector the Care Quality Commission (CQC) takes action where it identifies poor care or if registered care providers and staff do not act properly. Depending upon the circumstances and the seriousness of the issue, it can take any of the following actions:
- issue requirement or warning notices
- put providers into special measures
- issue cautions
- impose financial penalties and/ or bring criminal court proceedings.
For a care business the loss of a registration will be catastrophic, removing the ability to provide its services and removing its income stream. Even if a registration is not lost, other actions by CQC can be damaging to the business through loss of goodwill and damaged reputation.
Where the CQC conducts an investigation it may be routine or as a result of some incident or information or whistle-blowing that requires their follow up.
An inspection should be expected to be rigorous and, importantly, any care business should work on the basis of being able at any time ready to demonstrate fully complaint systems.
Where an inspection uncovers shortcomings, matters need to be managed quickly and responsibly. A clear plan will be needed to set the ship back on the right course as quickly as possible. This may be time consuming and will need external legal and other professional help.
Ashtons Legal can assist you by providing before-the-event advice, including auditing of your systems, as well as help and representation after any inspection that results in an unfavourable outcome.
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