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Taking action against poor care

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Everybody has the right to receive safe, high-quality care. Where we find this is not taking place, we will use a range of powers to take action against those responsible.

Our new enforcement policy takes effect from 1 April 2015 and sets out the powers we have, how we'll use them and when.

Why we take action

We use our powers to:

  • Protect you from harm and make sure you receive care services of an appropriate standard.
  • Hold providers and managers to account for failures in how your care is provided.

How we use our powers

When we take action, we will always be:

  • on the side of people who use services
  • proportionate to the problems we see
  • consistent between different cases
  • open and transparent.

We have a four-stage process to decide what action, if any, is the most appropriate for each case.

Our powers

There is a range of action we can take against the providers and managers of your care. We can:

  • serve 'requirement notices' or 'warning notices' setting out changes that must be made and by when
  • make changes to a provider's registration to limit what they may do such as by imposing conditions for a given time
  • place a provider in 'special measures' – a system that enables us to closely supervise the quality of care while working with other organisations to help them improve
  • hold them to account for their failings, such as:
    • issuing simple cautions
    • issuing fines
    • prosecute cases where people are harmed or placed in danger of harm.

Keeping you informed

We will include details of the action we take in our inspection reports and clearly show on the provider's pages on this website when we are using our powers.

If you are interested in particular care services, you can find out when we have published a new report by signing up for our email alerts.

Last updated:
29 May 2017


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