We have noted in previous briefings the apparent increase in the CQC’s use of its powers as a prosecution authority. We have particularly noted the outcome of the latest prosecutions.

Where providers are charged with an offence it is important to get early legal advice. This is particularly crucial if the provider is likely to wish to plead guilty.

A guilty plea may, in accordance with the Sentencing Council’s guideline, attract a discount on the fine of up to a third.

However that ‘discount’ will only apply if the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity within the court process and clear legal advice will be needed to maximise the benefits of this in appropriate cases.