Former ministers and MPs have called for owners of failed care homes to be banned from operating in the care sector.
The call follows an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph which found that more than 100 care homes were being run by directors who had been forced shut down other homes due to resident neglect.
Former Health Minister Norman Lamb said directors of care homes that had failed “had no place in the care sector”, adding he was writing to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to explore what new powers were required following the Telegraph investigation.
The research highlighted Sussex Health Care (SHC) which is under police investigation following the death of 12 residents.
The provider lost an appeal in December against CQC enforcement action which requires it give monthly reports on all its services until further notice (see Tribunal backs enforcement action against Sussex Health Care).
A spokesperson for Sussex Health Care said: “The management of Sussex Health Care, along with all staff that work for the organisation, are committed to delivering the highest-quality care and support across all our services. Sussex Health Care has over 30 years’ experience and history, reflected in a track record of good CQC reports, of providing care for the local community in West Sussex. We are proud to support over 400 people and their families, at the current time, who consider our services their home.”
Debbie Westhead, Interim Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC said: “Our legal powers allow us to take enforcement action against the company registered to provide the care rather than the director of that company.
“However, when looking at new registrations, if there is a director who has previously run a care home which has closed due to poor care, we would closely consider whether the new registrant would be capable of meeting the fundamental standards of good care.
“On top of this, inspectors use all the information they have, including their detailed local knowledge, to monitor and inspect services. Where an inspector is aware that a seemingly new service is run by a provider that has been registered with us previously, where key staff from another service where we had concerns are involved or where a director or owner had another home closed due to enforcement action, this will be scrutinised as part of our inspections.”