In the first prosecution of its kind, a private clinic has been fined £40,000 for performing cosmetic surgery without being registered.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) took action against The Northern Clinic.com Limited after receiving an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public, which resulted in inspectors visiting the firm’s Wakefield and London clinics. On inspection the CQC found that the clinics were carrying out a surgical liposuction procedure without being registered with the CQC, as is required.
On 3 May 2012, the company was fined £40,000 at Wakefield Magistrates Court after admitting two charges of carrying on a regulated activity without being registered to do so. It was also ordered to pay the CQC’s costs of £22,548.89.
This was the first successful prosecution brought by the CQC under the Health and Social Care Act (2008). Under the Act it is an offence to provide surgical procedures without being registered with the CQC. The regulator began registering healthcare providers in 2009 and has started bringing prosecutions in the last year.
CQC director of operations Amanda Sherlock said: “The result of this case sends out a very clear message to providers that we will act on information we receive about unregistered services and will not hesitate to take tough enforcement action wherever necessary to ensure the safety of patients.”