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Care Quality Commission issues warning over registration after Essex slimming clinic fined

Published:
29 October 2019
Categories:
  • Media

Providers of medical services have been warned over not registering with the Care Quality Commission after the owners of an Essex slimming clinic were ordered to pay a total of £36,000 when they failed to do so.

Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, directors of Classytrade Limited, were fined £25,000 after admitting they had failed to register The Saint James Slimming and Beauty Clinic in Brentwood. They were also ordered to pay £11,001 prosecution costs following the case brought by CQC.

Joyce Frederick, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for registration, said: “Services providing medical care must register with CQC by law. When they fail to do so we cannot monitor the care being provided and that could pose a risk to people receiving treatment.

“When services, like Classytrade Limited in Brentwood, fail to register with us it means we are not able to check that care being provided meets the standards people should be able to expect and that ultimately people are kept safe while receiving treatment.

“That’s why it is vital that providers of services ensure they are registered with CQC before delivering care to patients.”

A hearing in September was told the defendants, Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, had not appreciated the service should be registered with CQC. They thought the service was covered by the General Medical Council (GMC) registration of the doctor they employed, but it was not.

CQC received anonymous information about the service, in Ongar Road, Brentwood, in March 2018, following an advertisement which appeared in a local newspaper. The advert said people could “Get Slim Fast” and made references to a “sympathetic private consultation with a qualified doctor”, “two weeks’ supply of medicine” and “carefully selected diet sheets”.

When inspectors checked the Commission’s database, no records of the provider or the service could be found. Classytrade Limited initially disputed that the service needed to be registered with CQC but, in June 2018, registration inspectors visited the Ongar Road premises.

Following the inspection, CQC brought the prosecution which alleged that between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018, Classytrade Limited, Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, carried on a regulated activity (services in slimming clinics) from The Saint James Slimming and Beauty Clinic, at 25a Ongar Road, Brentwood, without being registered to do so; contrary to section 10(1) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the offence at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in July 2019 and were fined following a hearing on 6 September. The service is no longer in operation.

Joyce Frederick added: “If services are not registered with us we cannot ensure that people are being kept safe while receiving care. Owners of care services can face an unlimited fine if they provide a service without registration and, where we find services that are not registered, we will take legal action, such as that taken against Classytrade Limited.

“We hope that this case will serve as a warning to other slimming clinics to make sure they are appropriately registered with CQC before they carry out any services or care to patients.”

Information for providers and registration is available on CQC’s website at: www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/nhs-trusts/guidance-providers

Ends

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Last updated:
29 October 2019