CQC enforcement action

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have a wide range of civil and criminal enforcement powers, including the cancellation of registration, which are outlined within the CQC’s enforcement policy. The CQC can utilise these powers against registered providers and managers within the health and adult social care sectors who are in breach of the fundamental standards; a condition of their registration; or any associated legislation. The CQC also have the power to take enforcement action against individuals or companies who are providing regulated activities without registration.

 

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What are the CQC’s enforcement powers?

The CQC’s civil enforcement powers include:

  • Notice of proposal / notice of decision to impose, vary or remove conditions of registration
  • Suspension of registration
  • Cancellation of registration
  • Urgent cancellation of registration (Section 30 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008)
  • Urgent notice of decision (Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008)
  • Warning notices

The CQC’s criminal enforcement powers include:

  • Simple cautions
  • Fixed penalty notices
  • Prosecutions

What does this mean for care providers?

It is vital that care providers act quickly once they receive any enforcement action from the CQC, especially a notice of proposal or a notice of decision to cancel registration. There are often quite tight timescales in which they can respond to or challenge CQC enforcement action and it is therefore extremely important that they use this time wisely. Any challenges made must be robust and supported with clear documentary evidence. Providers must also ensure that they fully engage with the CQC throughout this process, and ensure that any deadlines set are strictly complied to. A failure to do so could put their business and reputation at risk and lead to severe financial consequences, especially where cancellation of registration is pursued.

Facing CQC enforcement action?

If you have received a CQC notice of proposal or notice of decision, you should seek specialist legal advice in order to protect your interests and safeguard your registration. We can advise you on the legal implications of this enforcement action and what action you should take. Where appropriate, we will seek to conclude matters as soon as possible, either through the submission of detailed written representations and evidence to the CQC on your behalf or by providing robust and specialist representation at a CQC appeal hearing.

If you are facing a CQC criminal prosecution or the cancellation of your registration, we will advise you on the appropriate defence strategy and provide effective representation. For a confidential discussion with one of our specialist CQC lawyers, please contact us on 0203 816 9274 or complete our online enquiry form.

  • Care Quality Commission Compliance & Regulation

    Specialist solicitor Laura Hannah talks about the role the CQC play as the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Laura also talks about how Stephensons supports clients such as registered providers who face enforcement action following a CQC inspection.
    [youtube url="​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgoIKK5NWWI"]

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