As reported in a previous briefing, CQC enforcement action increased by 75% in 2017. We have commented previously on the increase in prosecution action.

It is also important to note that there has been an increase in Notices of Proposal (NOP) to impose conditions or vary the registration of providers.

Commonly the proposal is either to limit admissions or to remove a location from the provider’s registration. The limit on admissions is usually formulated as a condition prohibiting new admissions without the consent of the CQC. Even though a restriction on admissions is intended to allow the provider to focus on improving care to the existing cohort of residents without the additional stress of integrating new service users, with the morbidity effect of winter, this can be a significant financial problem for providers.

A proposal to remove a location from a provider’s registration is effectively a proposal to close the home.

All NOPs must be taken seriously. There is a 28 day period to make representations as to why the CQC should not adopt the proposal. Specialist advice on the content of representations is an important aspect of successfully opposing an NOP.