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CQC plans care home crackdown

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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Readers' comments (4)

  • Have heard all the so called 'threats of action' for the last 15 years, and everything is still the same.

    So far my professional experience suggests that all the regulators are toothless. However, I hope the new initiative works this time.

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  • Do all homes have to have a registered manager,a manager with RGN/RMN qualification ?????

    Social services did not employ nurses to run their homes, I note that veridian have taken over most of their homes.

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  • Until recently CQC insisted that care home managers had or were working towards The RMA (NVQ level 4 ) for residential care homes, they seemed to consider this award superior to a nursing qualification, a point I raised with The NMC, as I beleived this was detrimental to our professional status and resulted in a cheaper option to employ less qualified staff as managers.
    The situation where Managers with only this qualification were in many cases out of their depths, results in high turnover/burnout and now shortage of managers.
    Nursing homes must employ a registerd nurse and CQC would also emphasise the addition of the RMA. again I beleive putting off potential candidates and debasing our nursing qualifications.
    When I raised these points with the NMC regarding this status issue their initial response was that I had a valid point, when this valid point was passed onto the next level of the NMC. I received short shrift telling me that CQC decisions had nothing to do with them..although they had a "memorandom of agreement with them.
    So a foreseeable shortage of capable managers, degrading of nursing qualifications and care at the cheapest cost are part of this problem. CQC must address these issues if this is to be remedied.

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  • When will someone admit that elderly social care is in a deep and deepening crisis which will have very unwelcome implications for the NHS.

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