Regulations and CQC's five key questions

  • We offer expert advice on The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 and how to answer CQC's five key questions: is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?
  • We provide assistance to care providers facing allegations from CQC, local authorities or other inspecting bodies that they are not complying with their legal obligations.  We can provide clarity as to what those obligations are and help clients avoid being bullied into taking unnecessary action which is a waste of time and resources.
  • We have extensive experience in challenging unfair inspection reports and erroneous and/or disproportionate judgements by inspectors and contracts monitoring officers.  Inaccurate statements and unbalanced judgements written in public inspection reports can be very damaging to a provider’s reputation. The adverse effects of this can ultimately lead to a severe loss of income to the business. Inspectors can and frequently do make mistakes and that is why it is so important to hold them to account.
  • We can assist in preparing responses to inspection reports and help care home providers marshal the evidence that they have to support their position when challenging assessments and reports.
  • We can assist in negotiations with CQC and local authorities.  We have considerable experience of attending meetings with CQC and local authorities on behalf of care home operators to help resolve matters and build solid trust for future dealings.
  • We can help with the preparation and negotiation of action plans and improvement plans where these are required by CQC or a local authority.
  • We can assist in defending any enforcement action that CQC has commenced against a home and in negotiating the removal of any referrals ban imposed by a local authority.
  • Business continuity plan.  It is vital that a care service has a written plan that details all the things that need to be done in order to provide for the continuing care of its residents in the event of a foreseeable emergency occurring at the home, such as a fire, flood or other disaster that renders the building uninhabitable.  We can help in drawing up the necessary plan.

Case study

Our client is the proprietor of a 31 bed elderly persons home. 

This establishment had suffered problems which are typical of those caused by a lack of management control. 

The proprietor had invested in a large extension to the premises that attracted the attention of the CQC inspectors, who used their site visits to make a string of statutory requirements, some justified but others grossly exaggerated. 

Having issued two enforcement notices the CQC passed on its concerns to the local authority with the result that the social services contracts department suspended referrals to the home, making it very hard to fill the new beds in the extension. 

The owner asked us to conduct a quality monitoring audit of the service and advise on improvement measures to be taken to meet the standards (person centred care planning, medication practice, record keeping etc) and we also represented the owner in negotiations with the CQC to challenge the many inaccuracies and unjustified negative comments in the inspection report. 

This produced a marked softening of approach by the formerly officious and aggressive inspector. 

Over the next six months the owner implemented the action plan we produced, found a new manager, eliminated all the areas of non-compliance and demonstrated to the CQC and social services that the home had improved, with the result that there is no prospect of further legal action and the establishment is now consistently full and delivering a very good profit.