Through the maze


In the first of a new series of legal columns for DDN, Amina Uddin of Ridouts guides you through CQC issues and invites your questions

The regulatory landscape is rapidly changing for the substance misuse sector. Providers who are registered with the CQC face challenges of a new inspection regime and CQC ratings. CQC began comprehensive inspections of independent stand-alone substance misuse services in July 2015.

However due to the complex nature of these services, CQC will inspect them without ratings for the time being. It has been identified that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will simply not work with this sector, but CQC are determined to rate substance misuse services in the future and are working with the Department of Health to reach this goal.

CQC will also continue to test the viability and scope of inspecting and separately rating substance misuse services offered by other providers such as NHS trusts, GP practices and independent providers that also offer other services, and are seeking to roll out their inspection regime once the current inspection cycle ends. For the moment, CQC will inspect substance misuse services if any risks are identified. As regulatory scope grows, it is likely that more substance misuse services will be captured under the scrutiny of CQC. Amid this plethora of change and uncertainty, it is important that you seek legal help to ensure your service is not adversely affected and through our new column in DDN, we’re here to answer all your burning legal questions.

• Do you have questions about whether your service needs to be registered with CQC? • Is your service under scrutiny after an inquest?

• Are you confused and struggling with the demands of multiple regulatory involvement of your service? Do fire your questions at us, whether they’re related to employment matters or other professional matters – we’re here to help.

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Ridouts LLP is a practice of health and social care lawyers with expertise on dealing with regulators,