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CQC secures first conviction for breach of fundamental standards

15 June 2016

An adult social care provider was yesterday sentenced to a £190,000 fine at Bradford Magistrates' Court for failing to provide safe care and treatment, contrary to Regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The conviction followed the death of a service user who fell from a shower chair, breaking his neck in April 2015.

The 2014 Regulations, setting out what are known as the 'fundamental standards' for care were largely implemented in April 2015 along with additional powers that make it much easier for the Care Quality Commission to bring prosecutions where they identify inappropriate or unsafe care.

This conviction appears to be the first of its kind and is accompanied by a warning from the CQC that they will consider the use of prosecution powers where they find that care providers are putting people at risk of harm. It makes it clear that CQC has both the resources and capabilities to bring such cases and that the courts are ready to impose very significant penalties where they do.

This news further highlights the importance of providers ensuring that their systems and processes can withstand scrutiny in the event of an incident, accident or inspection.

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