Posted by Hazel Phillips, Partner
CQC’s response to the CMA guidance on service user contracts
The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report on the care home market in November 2017. Its report highlighted concerns about service user contracts breaching consumer law and recommended wholesale changes to admissions processes, complaints handling and service user contracts.
The CMA issued their detailed draft guidance in May 2018 which was designed to help care providers comply with their consumer law obligations. The final guidance is due imminently.
In a recent trade association presentation, CQC indicated that it was starting to develop its response to the CMA’s recommendations.
In particular, the head of adult social care policy for CQC made it clear that compliance with consumer legislation is relevant to CQC’s assessment of providers as to both “quality” and whether a service is “well-led”. He states that the assessment of “well-led” could be influenced by a failure to meet “all relevant legal requirements” and whether “all relevant legal requirements have been understood and met”.
He commented that CQC will be reflecting on the application of consumer law to care settings in the next revision of their assessment framework.
So what does this mean for care providers?
We would encourage all providers to review their service user contracts, admissions and complaints documents to ensure that they are compliant with the CMA Guidance. Whilst CQC may not scrutinise these documents word for word, they are clearly interested in ensuring that providers observe consumer rights and this will feed into the inspection process.
If you would like advice and assistance on ensuring your admissions and complaints processes and service user contracts are compliant with consumer legislation, please get in touch. We have developed model documentation which complies with the CMA guidance whilst protecting your business.
Please contact Hazel Phillips who would be happy to discuss how we can assist you:
01225 730 166 Email us
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