Clarendon House owner urges care homes to take CQC seriously

A care home owner found guilty in the first court case brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has spoken of the new regulator’s “more aggressive” approach to prosecution than its predecessor, the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Lloyd Tredell, director of Greentree Enterprises, made the comments after his firm pleaded guilty to failing to make arrangements for the recording, handling, safekeeping, safe administration and disposal of medicines at its Clarendon House home in Coventry.

The company was fined £1,666 and ordered to pay court costs of £600 at Coventry Magistrates Court earlier this month.

The CQC took action after Greentree failed to correct problems first identified by CSCI in July 2008. “Multiple and repeat errors” were seen on one occasion, and CSCI staff found issues during visits in October 2008 and January and March 2009.

However, CQC inspectors found problems had been rectified when they made an unannounced visit to Clarendon House two days before the court hearing.

New procedures

Tredell said the CQC was “100% happy” with new procedures in place at the home and Greentree also had the support of Coventry Council, which places older people at Clarendon House.

“We’ve been able to bring ourselves to the forefront of the latest thinking on medication and auditing procedures,” he said.

He warned other care home owners facing action from the CQC to “take them seriously”.

“I’m not saying we didn’t but we were not used to that sort of aggression from the CSCI,” he added.

The CQC came into being on 1 April, bringing together the work of three former regulators – the CSCI, Healthcare Commission and Mental Health Act Commission.

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