Challenging Regulator Inspection Reports

Following site visits regulators, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), produce inspection reports which, if inaccurate and unfair, not only make for grim reading, but can also adversely affect a health and social care provider’s reputation and ability to attract and retain service users.

Whilst providers may consider it makes for an easier life not to challenge factually inaccurate reports, a succession of reports showing non-compliances can lead to significant enforcement action by the CQC or other regulators. In addition, any report published will be taken by the reader as being accurate and a true representation of your business. Providers in the health and social care sector must make sure of the factual accuracy of the report so that the contents truly reflect their service.  Inspection reports are a service’s biggest marketing tool, a clear designation of how well it is performing for its users, so factually inaccurate statements in these reports must be challenged.

Timescales for making representations to these reports can be very limited with only a few days to respond. The Ridouts team of specialist lawyers has vast experience of working swiftly and comprehensively to present well evidenced representations supported by evidence. Our lawyers not only challenge the factual accuracy of reports but also the rationale behind the judgements. This includes detailed reviews of the regulator’s own guidance as well as considering the approach taken by inspector’s during their inspection.

Ridouts also has experience in initiating further action against regulators by way of complaints or pre-action protocol letters where comments to inspection reports have not been thoroughly or properly considered. This often leads to further amendments to reports; re-gradings; and sometimes the removal of the report in its entirety and the establishment re-inspected.

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