Legal expert warns care homes – be ready and safe

By Rachel Adamson of Adkirk Law

A specialist North West law firm is warning care homes to be extra vigilant in making their spaces safe as the care industry regulator steps up monitoring during the current lockdown.

Rachel Adamson, head of fraud and regulatory at Adkirk Law, highlighted the importance of safety for care homes during the current pandemic, which is managed by the Care Quality Commission.

She said: “There has been a lull in the monitoring and inspections because of the pandemic but care home operators and managers should be aware that just because we are in lockdown doesn’t mean there will be any less rigour in dealing with safety.

“It seems obvious, but the issue of infection control is one of the key measures being examined and care homes should be ready to be visited at any time, and having robust processes and systems in place will provide evidence of safety.

“The CQC has increased the level of enforcement action over recent years and has made it clear that it will take action if people are at risk during the pandemic. It is important that providers be prepared for the calls with their inspector.”

Whilst the CQC has temporarily halted routine inspections during this emergency period, it has retained its regulatory role by implementing a new Emergency Support Framework, designed to ensure risks can be identified and acted on.

The CQC inspectors are looking at four key areas of care home provision covering safety including infection control, staffing arrangements, protection from abuse, neglect and discrimination and processes dealing with the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.

Adkirk Law offers a niche practice with expertise in regulatory law, including serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct, and residential conveyancing.