Our specialist lawyers represented an acting manager of a residential care home who had made an application to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to register as manager of the service.
Following the submission of their application, the CQC issued the acting manager with a Notice of Proposal to refuse their registration as manager of the service. Care providers or managers are provided with a period of 28 days from the date of service of these types of notices to make written representations against the CQC’s proposal.
Our lawyers were instructed by the acting manager to draft representations against this notice to the CQC to try and prevent the CQC from proceeding with their proposal.
The CQC’s basis for this proposal was that the CQC were not satisfied with the proposed manner in which they were to manage the regulated activity at the service following an initial assessment of the contents of their application; an inadequate inspection at the service; and the responses provided within their fit person interview.
Our detailed representations focused on the acting manager’s significant background in the care sector, including the management of other successful care provisions, with reference to the relevant sections of the CQC’s guidance and regulations. We were able to provide reasonable submissions to the CQC’s concerns, which were supported by relevant supporting documentary evidence. It was requested that the CQC review the compliance of the service again within a couple of months once the acting manager had had time to implement the outstanding improvements at the service and further demonstrate their fitness to act as manager.
Representations at this stage are vital as they can make a huge difference in the CQC's decision to pursue their proposed action and in the absence of such effective and appropriate representations, the CQC will base its decision only on the information it has to date. Such representations can also sometimes delay the CQC's enforcement action. In cases where a Notice of Proposal is issued to a care provider to either cancel; suspend; or vary a condition of their registration, such delay enables care providers to undertake any necessary improvements or implement their action plans more effectively to ensure compliance, prior to any further inspection from the CQC. In respect of managers’ applications for registration, this delay can provide the manager with further time to demonstrate that they can be an effective manager who can sustain compliance within a service. A failure to respond to a Notice of Proposal or the provision of an unsatisfactory response, will most often lead to the CQC proceeding with their proposal.
After consideration of our representations, the CQC undertook a further inspection at the service whilst they had day to day control of the service as acting manager. The service was rated ‘Good’ in all five key questions and ‘Good’ overall. The areas of concern raised in the Notice of Proposal were found to have been addressed, as well as improvements made to the service. As a result, the CQC confirmed their decision not to adopt their Notice of Proposal and they were registered as manager of the service.
Our specialist regulatory lawyers have represented numerous care providers and managers where Notices of Proposal have been issued to either cancel; suspend; vary; or refuse their registration. If you find yourself in receipt of a Notice of Proposal, it is essential that you seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible and Stephensons have a dedicated specialist team on hand who would be happy to assist you.