Challenging Cancellation, Suspension or Variation of Conditions

CQC and Ofsted have extensive enforcement powers against providers.  Their powers are extensive and can be taken either will notice or, if urgent, on an emergency basis.

CQC can serve a:

Notice of Proposal to (NOP):

  • Cancel your registration
  • Suspend your registration
  • Vary your registration by removing a location (and effectively cancelling its registration)
  • Vary your registration to stop you from doing something, such as restricting admission to a location
  • Vary your registration to make you do something, such as provide action plans to CQC

Notice of Decision to (NOD):

  • Cancel, Suspend, or Vary your registration on an urgent basis under section 31 which means the action takes place immediately, which can result in services having to cease and service users removed immediately, or providers face committing a criminal offence

Magistrates’ Court Order:

  • Cancelling a provider’s registration on an urgent basis, which takes effect as soon as it is served on a provider

Ofsted can take similar action, under different legislation and can additionally serve:

  • Notice to Restrict Accommodation

Such action can be highly damaging, providers can be prosecuted for failing to comply with conditions of registration imposed, and businesses can be lost.

Regulators have increased the use of correspondence to health and social care providers, sometimes giving them the opportunity to reassure them that suitable action is being taken to mitigate risks, by serving a Letter of Intent. 

Providers often have the right to make detailed representations and provide action plans to mitigate the chance of such enforcement action being taken or have the right to appeal decisions to the First-Tier Tribunal (Care Standards) Tribunal.

Submissions need to be compelling and strong in order to avoid the action.

However, action needs to be taken early and swiftly to help prevent matters progressing further, or enable providers to put forward the best case possible..  Deadlines are short and must not be missed.

The Ridouts team has an enviable success rate of challenging regulator proposals and decisions both at the representation stage and on appeal to the Tribunal.

Services include:

  • Assisting with responses to Letters of Intent to provide reassurance to the regulators that enforcement action is not required
  • Advising on the strength of the case contained within Notices of Proposals (“NOPs”) and Notices of Decision (“NODs”)
  • Drafting comprehensive responses to NOPs and NODs and identifying supportive evidence; Appealing NODs to the Tribunal; including drafting witness statements, attending case management hearings and preparing bundles for disclosure
  • Representing health and social care providers at emergency closure hearings in the Magistrates' Court.

By getting in touch with the Ridouts team and engaging our specialist lawyers, you are bringing the best possible people to your defence, with the knowledge and expertise to support you through the challenge and achieve success for your health and social care business, protecting you against any unfair enforcement.

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