CQC prosecution of unregistered domiciliary care agency

The Care Quality Commission’s latest prosecution has resulted in a conviction for providing a regulated activity without registration. In January 2021, Beverley Bevis, the owner of Five Star Homecare Leeds Ltd, admitted operating a domiciliary care agency without CQC registration and pleaded guilty to the offence.

Ms Bevis was ordered to pay over £12,000 on pleading guilty to the crime and for providing domiciliary care without a CQC registration.

In September 2018, CQC had received a tip-off from a relative of a service user that the service was not registered. CQC inspectors immediately undertook an unannounced inspection of the domiciliary care service’s premises in Leeds.

CQC found that the premises displayed a window sticker advertising the service as being CQC approved when in fact the service had not even been registered with CQC. CQC found that the domiciliary care service had been employing 23 staff to provide personal care to at least 7 service users without CQC registration.

In April 2020, the service successfully applied for CQC registration. Mrs Bevis has retained some involvement with the company but is not responsible for supervising its regulated activity. In November 2020, the service was rated as “Requires Improvement”.

Mrs Bevis was fined £1,500 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 7 January 2021. She was further ordered to pay £10,380.91 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

CQC’s deputy chief inspector of registration, Joyce Frederick, commented that “unregistered services operate without oversight, putting people at risk of harm. Monitoring of domiciliary care agencies is especially important, as people who receive care in their own homes can be particularly vulnerable because of their circumstances.”

It is clear that CQC will not hesitate to act to protect people when providers are operating illegally. There is a growing trend of increasing prosecutions being undertaken by CQC over the past few years. We have seen an increasing number of criminal investigations by CQC in relation to a range of matters including failure to have a Registered Manager and failure to submit notifications to CQC.

We are specialist CQC solicitors with extensive experience in defending all forms of enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecutions by CQC or other authorities (such as the Police). If you require any assistance in relation to CQC compliance or your dealings with CQC, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our healthcare law team at online.enquiries@la-law.com or call 01202 786135 to discuss how we can assist you.