At HLTH Group, we are well aware of the challenges healthcare providers face when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) considers cancelling their registration. Our team, comprised of former CQC inspectors, clinicians, and healthcare professionals, collaborates with CQC-specialist solicitors to provide vital support to healthcare providers confronting enforcement actions by the CQC.
Understanding CQC’s Cancellation Powers: The CQC possesses the authority to cancel a service provider’s CQC registration as outlined in Section 17(1)(e) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and Regulation 6(1)(c) of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009.
This cancellation can occur when: “…a registered person is a service provider, is not, and has not been for a continuous period of 12 months ending with the date of the decision to cancel registration, carrying on that regulated activity.”
Cancellation Process: The typical process for CQC registration cancellation involves the following steps:
The CQC issues a notice of proposal to cancel the service provider’s registration for the relevant regulated activity (e.g., ‘personal care’). The provider is granted 28 calendar days to submit written representations against this proposal.
If a provider has not provided the regulated activity for a continuous period of 12 months or longer and wishes to retain their registration, they must promptly commence the regulated activity. However, it’s not just about providing the service; the provider must also provide evidence that the regulated activity is being delivered.
For example, a domiciliary care provider registered for ‘personal care’ may need to provide evidence such as a service contract, a care plan signed by the service user, invoices for payments received for ‘personal care,’ and daily logs detailing care provision.
If a provider cannot provide the regulated activity before making representations, they should demonstrate the steps taken and relevant timescales. Providing certainty about future provision can enhance the chances of successfully challenging the cancellation.
Evidence, such as tender applications or agreed care packages set to commence, can be vital. Tender application details, current status, and expected decision timelines, as well as care package specifics, should be presented.
When a provider is not actively providing the regulated activity, the CQC generally has sound grounds for cancellation. The provider’s best option for challenging this is to begin immediate provision or provide conclusive evidence of imminent provision.
Challenging the Cancellation: In case a provider’s representations fail to deter the CQC from cancellation, the CQC will issue a notice of decision confirming the registration’s cancellation under Section 28 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The provider then has an additional 28 calendar days to appeal this decision to the first-tier tribunal (care standards chamber). However, a successful appeal hinges on the ability to prove the provision of the regulated activity or imminent provision.
The Impact and Importance of Challenging Cancellation: Successfully challenging a registration cancellation is crucial, especially for dormant providers relying on their CQC registration for tenders and contracts. Losing CQC registration can have severe financial consequences and hinder progress with tenders and potential contracts. Reapplying for CQC registration, in the event of cancellation, may also entail significant delays.
Our Expertise: Our specialised team of CQC compliance specialists have extensive experience in assisting health and social care providers with challenges and appeals against notices of proposals and notices of decisions, particularly in cases involving dormancy as the grounds for cancellation. To discuss your specific situation, please contact our team of specialist CQC experts at 0161 241 3163 or through our online enquiry form. We are dedicated to supporting your journey through this challenging process.