CQC continues with prosecutions
Although CQC has carried out fewer inspections during the pandemic, prosecution action continues, and there is a suggestion that there are around 2000 ongoing cases.
The latest case highlights that even smaller value issues will be pursued.
The Fremantle Trust was fined £2000 and ordered to pay £7000 in prosecution costs on 1 February. The Trust pleaded guilty to exposing a resident to the significant risk of avoidable harm in December 2017. The resident suffered from tetraplegia, and had a choking risk. His care plan required oral suctioning, to be carried out by trained nursing or care staff. However, his wife found an untrained agency worker attempting to carry out this procedure when she visited. She intervened to stop this. The provider notified CQC of the incident.
There was no evidence that the agency staff member involved in the incident had received an induction, training in relation to this procedure, or had even read the care plan for the resident.
The Fremantle Trust was prosecuted on the basis that care for the resident was not provided safely.
In previous briefings we have highlighted prosecutions where the fine imposed has been considerably higher. However it is clear that this is not the test for whether prosecution will be pursued. Any breach of the Regulations is a potential ground for prosecution.
This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.