Challenging a CQC warning notice

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Challenging a CQC Warning Notice

When a service is found to be in breach of regulations, CQC can issue a Warning Notice.  In the order of severity, a Warning Notice is just above the requirement that a provider produce a Report on Actions and just below a Notice of Proposal to impose a condition on registration (normally, an embargo on placements).

What do you need to do?

If you wish to challenge a Warning Notice, you have 10 working days from the date of receipt to make representations.  If you miss that deadline, the Warning Notice will stand.

We can help make representations to CQC asking that the Warning Notice be withdrawn. If, alternatively, you accept the contents of the Warning Notice, we can help you respond to CQC showing you are making improvements to help mitigate against CQC taking any further action.

In either case, it is important to deal proactively with the Warning Notice and get your service back on track.  Failing to do so is very likely to lead to bigger problems later on.

You need to act quickly

Sometimes CQC will issue a Warning Notice before a draft inspection report has been sent to the provider. In such circumstances you must act quickly to respond to both the Warning Notice and, when it comes, the inspection report.  If there are factual inaccuracies in the draft inspection report, we recommend that you submit a factual accuracy challenge.  If you succeed in obtaining positive changes to the draft inspection report, it can help you overcome the Warning Notice.

CQC will also set a deadline for the provider to comply with the regulations cited in the Warning Notice.Failure to do so could result in more serious enforcement action, such as a condition being imposed on your registration (often an embargo on placements) or a Notice of Proposal to Cancel Registration.

We can help you with

  • Making representations against warning notices
  • Challenging penalty notices and fines
  • Challenging a Notice of Proposal to Cancel Registration
  • Appealing a Notice of Decision to Cancel Registration
  • Defending the imposition of conditions on or suspension of registration
  • Challenging embargos by local authorities
I have always found them to be accessible and quick to respond to any queries. I am very happy to recommend the Social Care team at Royds Withy King to other care home providers.
Ravi Gidar, Director Gold Care Homes


If the facts cited in the Warning Notice are incorrect or if the evidence cited does not support a finding that a regulation has been breached, then it is worth challenging a Warning Notice.  Even if you accept that there has been a breach, you should still deal with the Warning Notice and manage the situation to prevent your service from sliding further into regulatory trouble.

You will need to submit representations to CQC within 10 working days of receiving the Warning Notice.  We can assist with this process.  If there are factual inaccuracies in your draft report, you should also submit a factual accuracy log.  We are very experienced in this and feel it is the best place to start.  You also have 10 working days from the date the draft inspection report is served to submit your factual accuracy log, so it is important not to lose any of the available time.  Be sure to check your deadlines immediately!

If you receive a Warning Notice, CQC will re-inspect to see if your service has become compliant with the regulations.  If they are not satisfied that the service has become compliant, they are very likely to take further regulatory compliance action, such as imposing a condition on your registration (an embargo) or issuing a Notice of Proposal to Cancel Registration).  A Warning Notice can signal the beginning of a service sliding into trouble.  We recommend that you take action to regain control of the situation.  This will be easier at the Warning Notice stage than later when CQC may issue a Notice of Proposal to cancel registration or put your service into special measures.

You should seek urgent legal advice as the best course of action will depend on the circumstances. Even if you decide to agree a voluntary embargo it may be possible to negotiate better terms than originally proposed by the local authority to protect your business.

Contact us to find out how our expert team can help you protect your care home from the impact of a CQC warning notice