Challenging CQC embargoes
Safeguarding issues and inspections can prompt a slew of problems for care providers. One of the most difficult is embargoes on placements. Where embargoes typically used to be imposed by a local authority (and still can be), they are now often imposed by the Care Quality Commission(CQC).
A typical scenario is that CQC inspects a care service, finds that the care is unsafe, and threatens to impose a Notice of Proposal to impose a condition on the provider’s registration. The proposed “condition” is often that the provider not be permitted to take on any new service users unless and until it has CQC’s approval to do so.
Can I challenge an embargo imposed by CQC?
CQC frequently ask providers to voluntarily agree to embargoes on placements. They back this up with the threat that if you do not agree voluntarily, they will impose the condition formally. The trouble with this, from a legal perspective, is that if you agree to voluntarily accept, you are not given the chance to contest the evidence cited by CQC as the reason for the embargo.
In other words, whether you can challenge the embargo depends on whether you have voluntarily agreed to the embargo or whether CQC have issued a Notice of Proposal to impose a condition on your registration. If you have agreed to an embargo, then you have effectively relinquished your right to challenge the embargo.
If, however, the CQC have issued a Notice of Proposal to impose a condition on registration (limiting admissions) then you will have 28 days to make representations and try to persuade CQC to rescind its embargo.
Whatever your situation it is important that you speak to a team of experts who can help you minimise the risk to your business and help you to lift the embargo.
How can Royds Withy King help?
Embargoes can often force a care home out of business, but this does not have to be the case. Most problems have a solution and we are here to help.
We frequently help providers manage their way out of embargoes, whether those are imposed by commissioners or CQC. This usually goes hand in hand with advising on a serious safeguarding issue or other compliance action by CQC.