October 24, 2019 Legal

CQC continues to pressure providers and managers just two days after draft inspection reports published

 

Earlier this year, there were reports that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were deploying practices to further frustrate the review of draft inspection reports. It seems that the problem persists. Mei-Ling Huang, partner at Royds Withy King’s specialist Health & Social Care team, explains:

“After inspection, a draft inspection report will be sent by email to the registered manager or provider. The appropriate registered person then has 10 working days from the date of the email to submit a challenge to the factual accuracy of the report.

“However, we are increasingly hearing from contacts in the sector that inspectors are calling managers just two days after the draft report has been provided, seeking confirmation that they are happy with its contents. They are also asking managers to confirm whether or not they are going to contest the accuracy of the report when the provider is still considering their options.”

CQC is using its influence and power to lean on both managers and providers who are often intimidated by inspectors and may wish to appease them by agreeing the contents of the report over the phone.

Additionally, it is the provider, not the manager, who should make the final call as to the findings in the draft report and whether they wish to exercise their right to raise a factual accuracy challenge. In instances where phone calls are made to managers, CQC not only applies undue time pressure but puts the onus on the wrong person to make a decision with potentially serious consequences for the provider.

When draft reports are prematurely agreed, this leaves the provider with no further right to challenge the inspection report. CQC will publish and it will remain in place until the next inspection.

Providers, remember your rights

If you have undergone or are awaiting an inspection, remember you are entitled to a review period of 10 working days from the date the draft inspection report was emailed by the CQC inspector. Ensure you take the time available to fully consider the contents of the draft report and whether you feel there are grounds to challenge the factual accuracy.

Most importantly, if you are chased by a CQC inspector pressing for approval of the draft report before the 10 working days have passed, there is no obligation to agree. It is better to take your time and consider any negative issues raised carefully to ascertain whether or not they are actually substantiated by the evidence presented in the draft report.

Our specialist Health & Social Care lawyers are well versed in the working of CQC and have the expertise and experience to guide you through the inspection/factual accuracy process or any other CQC matters. To find out more, contact Mei-Ling Huang, Partner, in our Health and Social Care team at Royds Withy King on 01225 459 950 or email
mei-ling.huang@roydswithyking.com

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