Application for Registration
Starting a new business is a daunting prospect, not least when it is a health and social care business that is subject to a rigid system of regulation and requires registration with a national regulator. All providers of health and social care services in England are required to register with the CQC and those providing children’s social care services must register with Ofsted.
This will require a health and social care provider to complete a comprehensive application form detailing the kind of service that they wish to provide, where it will be provided and who will be the registered manager, amongst other things. The application process can be quite overwhelming particularly in respect of adult services, when a provider wants to operate from multiple locations.
At Ridouts we have wide experience in preparing a service for registration and are able to help negotiate the maze of regulation by supporting you every step of the way.
Providers of learning disability services now have the added complication of CQC’s own guidance on what such a service should look like and this has the effect of attempting to shape the market. Our team of expert lawyers are able to assist with disputes around CQC’s “Registering the Right Support” and have achieved multiple successes both in the First Tier (Care Standards) Tribunal and at the stage where the CQC might refuse an application to register such a service.
We acted for a care provider who had two separate CQC registrations for Company A and Company B. The Client wanted to dissolve Company A and re-register with CQC as a sole provider to carry out regulated activities at Location Y, which was attached to Company A’s registration. The Client wanted the application process to be completed within a tight timeframe. We advised that applying to register with CQC as a sole provider would mean that the application would be treated as a new registration, which can take up to 10 weeks. An alternative option was provided to the Client whereby it was suggested that Company A was dissolved, as intended, and for Location Y’s registration to be transferred to Company B. This would enable the Client to carry out regulated activities at Location Y, without registering as a sole provider. We further advised that the registration process would be shorter than the usual 10 week timeframe, as Company B had no regulatory compliance issues within its registered Locations. We submitted registration applications on the Client’s behalf to CQC and were successful in getting Location Y added to Company B’s registration. As a result of our comprehensive advice, the overall application process took up to 4 weeks, as opposed to 10 weeks, which exceeded the Client’s expectations.
We acted for a well-established provider of Learning Disability services, with a strong track record of providing high quality person-centred care, who sought to add an additional location to its existing registration. They sought to add a separate new 6 bedded unit adjacent to their existing 6 bedded service.
CQC refused the application on the basis that it would not be compliant with the principles of Registering the Right Support. Reasons cited included CQC’s contention that our Client was simply seeking to double the size of its existing service rather than provide a truly independent second service. It was further argued that even if it was an independent service, it’s geographic location and proximity to the existing service would make it a congregate or campus setting. We assisted our Client in preparing submissions to appeal against that decision to the First Tier (Care Standards) Tribunal. The case was heard over two days, with evidence from the CQC inspectors and our Client.
Having considered all the evidence, the Tribunal concluded that it did not consider that CQC had exercised its discretion appropriately and that they had failed to properly evaluate the application. The Tribunal allowed our Client’s appeal and set aside the decision of the CQC to refuse registration. The additional location was registered.