Care providers face unlimited fines as CQC increases prosecutions
The number of prosecutions made by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against health providers has risen sharply this year following the enactment of the Health and Social Care Act in 2015.
Lauren Wilson, a lawyer with LHS Solicitors says care providers charged with breaches of regulations regarding harm now face unlimited fines and could be left with criminal records.
“Since the CQC was given powers of prosecution in 2015, we’ve seen a spike in cases brought against health providers,” said Ms Wilson.
“Indeed, we’ve gone from zero in 2015, to two in 2016, to three between January and April 2017. This seems to be a testament to the CQC’s new found dedication to holding health providers to account.”
In 2015 following a patient death, an investigation into the provision of medication was undertaken. While the cause of death was not directly linked to not receiving medication, a number of errors and omissions were found in the recording of medicines. The provider accepted responsibility and was ordered to pay £50,000.
“Breaches in care facilities are a genuine concern which must be dealt with in a serious manner,” said Ms Wilson.
“Care providers need to be aware that the new regulations and vested power of the CQC could spell extreme action if providers are prosecuted. Each prosecution so far has generally centred on providers failing to ensure safe care and treatment and specifically, failures to control the risk of serious injury.”