More than 4,000 care homes without a registered manager could face criminal sanctions under a crack down being launched by the Care Quality Commission.
A report to the regulator’s board meeting on Wednesday said in June 13 there were more than 3,900 care homes without a registered manager, equivalent to 2% of locations where this is a condition of registration. Of these about a quarter had not had a registered manager for more than two years and would be the first to be targeted.
Registered managers are responsible for the day to day running of services and are often nurses, in line with CQC guidance that it is more than an administrative management role.
CQC chief executive David Behan told the meeting the CQC was preparing to use its criminal powers against persistent offenders, including issuing fines of up to £4,000.
He said: “Homes without registered managers have very high levels of non-compliance [with CQC standards]. It’s not acceptable to run a home without a registered manager in place and to do so will result in a sanction.”
Recently appointed non-executive director Paul Corrigan described the figures as “shocking” and questioned why the CQC had allowed the situation to go on for so long.
Mr Behan said many organisations had highlighted the difficulty recruiting nurses and other appropriately skilled staff to fill the positions. However, he acknowledged the “please do better approach” of the past had not worked.
As well as fixed penalty notices the CQC can issue cautions or prosecute social care organisations that fail to comply with conditions of their registration.
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