Another appeal against a CQC decision to refuse an increase in service user numbers in a LD home was dismissed last week. As ever, CQC made the decision applying its Registering the Right Support guidance.
There has still been only one successful appeal so it’s an uphill struggle to win such cases.
In this case, the Tribunal said: “The central and fatal omission … was the lack of objective evidence in support of the proposed model of care as the guidance, rightly in our view, demands if larger settings are to show they are as capable of delivering best practice as smaller settings”.
The Tribunal was also impressed by emails of support from commissioners but regretted not being able to question them about their views. No doubt many commissioners would be reluctant to put their heads above the parapet to that extent. However, in the absence of live evidence, it seems the Tribunal will only attach limited weight to commissioners’ views.
The case highlights that providers who have obtained expert evidence in support of their model of care and who are able to persuade commissioners to give evidence, stand the best chance of success. These are points I made in my earlier analysis of Tribunal decisions in this area – see here for more detail on how providers can maximise their prospects of success when applying for an increase in service user number.
The full decision is available here.