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Professional Regulatory Solicitors for Care Providers
If you are a care provider requiring advice and representation in relation to regulation, compliance or enforcement action, our expert professional defence solicitors will guide you through the entire process.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections can be stressful and can lead to further action being taken against a care provider; the consequences of which can be devastating, leading to irreversible damage and, in some instances, criminal prosecution.
Our experienced and knowledgeable solicitors have a sound understanding of the CQC’s regulations and compliance regime and know how important it is to act in order to protect your business and reputation.
We have acted for owners and directors of:
- Care homes
- Nursing homes
- Home care agencies
- Dental practices
- GP practices
- Independent hospitals
If your matter is urgent, our solicitors can help you 24 hours a day. Call us on 0800 804 8186 to access expert legal advice whenever you need it.
How JMW Can Help
Enforcement may sometimes seem inevitable; however, our professional defence and regulatory team has proven experience in turning a situation around. We will help you to gather evidence to present to the CQC to help you make your best case.
The team can assist care providers with the following:
- Appealing to the First-Tier Tribunal (Care Standards)
- Representation following Urgent Notice to Cancel Registration under Section 30 of the
- Compliance with the Health and Social Care Act 2008
- Representation following Urgent Notice of Decision under Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008
- Responding to warning notices
- Challenging draft inspection reports
- Challenging ratings
- Safeguarding reviews
- Judicial review
Our team can also provide advice and representation in relation to coroner’s inquests, fitness to practise proceedings, and appealing decisions made by the CQC.
When will the CQC take enforcement action?
Any enforcement action must be taken against specific breaches of the regulations but the CQC will consider a number of factors and pay close attention to a care provider’s previous compliance history and whether it has the ability to ensure long-term sustainability.
Enforcement action must be proportionate and the CQC can work with a care provider if it appears that a care provider can improve without enforcement action being taken.
If the situation is such that there are service users who are at an unacceptable risk of harm, or there are repeatedly or seriously failing in their legal obligations, then the CQC will act.
In taking enforcement action, the CQC must act in accordance with its decision-making tree, ensuring it is both transparent and consistent.
What enforcement action can be taken by the CQC?
The CQC has a range of civil and criminal enforcement powers:
Its civil powers include:
- Warning notices
- Notice of Proposal
- Suspension of registration
- Cancellation of registration
- S30 Health and Social Care Act 2008 – Urgent cancellation of registration
- S31 Health and Social Care Act 2008 – Urgent Notice of Decision
Criminal powers include:
- Fixed penalty Notices
- Simple Cautions
Can I make an appeal against the CQC’s enforcement action?
Yes. S30 Appeals are dealt with at the Magistrates Court and S31 Appeals are dealt with at the First-Tier Tribunal.
Appeals against a Notice of Proposal (NOP) must be made within 28 days of service. The CQC will then either accept a care provider’s written representations or adopt its NOP, at which point the NOP becomes a Notice of Decision (NOD). A care provider will then need to lodge an appeal against the Notice of Decision with the First-Tier Tribunal (Health Standards).
An appeal of a NOD will require the Tribunal to make a determination that will often take several months after initial enforcement action has been taken.
How long will enforcement action take?
It can be many months after a NOP has been issued before a case reaches the First-Tier Tribunal (Health Care). Throughout this time, it is essential that you engage the services of experienced and specialist solicitors.
Talk to Us
If you are being investigated by the CQC or another authoritative body, our solicitors are here to help you build the strongest possible case for defence.