The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitor, inspect and regulate the UK’s health and social care services.
When registered with the CQC, providers of social care and health services are required to have a Registered Manager. They are appointed by the provider and manage the day-to-day regulated activity on their behalf. Only NHS Trusts are exempt from requiring a CQC Registered Manager. However, there are often circumstances in which your provider may not have a Registered Manager for a period of time – but what could the consequences be?
What Do The Regulations Say?
Regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2014 stipulates that: “People who use services have their needs met because the regulated activity is managed by an appropriate person.”
The guidance goes on to describe who would be considered an “appropriate person” to act as the Registered Manager, including an individual who has the necessary competence, qualifications, experience and skills to manage the regulated activity, plus other qualities.
Why A Service Might Be Without A Registered Manager
If you’re starting a care agency or home care business, having a skilled and experienced Registered Manager is one of the key components of success. They will allow you to deliver care service to a high standard, which is the fundamental goal for any provider.
However, many care organisations experience difficulties in recruiting suitable people to fill managerial positions from time to time.
Managers often leave services at short notice. For example, they can become sick or experience a significant change in personal circumstances which affects their ability to continue in the role.
In 2019/20, there was a vacancy rate of around 12% in management positions in regulated care services in England alone. For a sector with almost 26,000 registered locations, that’s over 3,100 providers operating without a manager.
At HLTH Resourcing and Compliance, we can help you to find the perfect Registered Manager that is suited to your provider.
What Actions Can The CQC Take?
It is an offence under the Health and Social Care Act to operate a registered service without a Registered Manager if the provider is required to do so. In the first instance, the CQC will write to providers informing them of the need to appoint a registered manager.
Providers who fail to comply with the condition to have a registered manager could get a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from the CQC.
What Could the Impact Be on Your Provider?
It is clear to see that the absence of a Registered Manager will negatively affect CQC inspection ratings. A CQC inspection will, more often than not, consider that a service cannot be rated highly in the absence of a Registered Manager. This is particularly the case for the “well-led” key domain. A service which is not considered to be “well-led” is highly unlikely to receive a favourable inspection rating by the CQC. As inspection ratings are published and must be displayed on the provider’s premises, any rating less than “good” can be damaging to reputation and to business. It will also lead to increased inspection scrutiny by the CQC themselves, who will consider the service to be “high risk”, as well as likely action being taken by local authority commissioners.
If you are looking for support in finding the right Registered Manager, or any part of the registration process, please get in touch with the HLTH Resourcing and Compliance team today. Our in-house management team has years of experience and can support you throughout your registration process.