Willow house Ltd. v CQC, Court of Appeal, June 29, 2011,  UKFTT 359 (HESC)
|Resolution Date:||June 29, 2011|
|Actores:||Willow house Ltd. v CQC|
 UKFTT 359 (HESC)
Care Standards Tribunal
Willow House Domiciliary Care Agency Ltd (formerly Willow House Ltd)
and Mr L Wilson - Appellants
Care Quality Commission - Respondent
1709.EA and 1714.EA
Miss Maureen Roberts, Tribunal Judge
Mr James Black, Specialist Member
Mr Graham Harper, Specialist Member
Heard on 20, 21, 22, and 23 June 2011 at the Tribunals Service St George's Road Cheltenham.
Representation: The Appellants represented themselves and gave evidence. Until the hearing they were represented by Davis and Partners Solicitors Bristol.
The Respondent was represented by Ms K Brunner of Counsel instructed by Ms J Jones of Anthony Collins and Co Solicitors. Ms Kelly Legal Advisor from the Respondent was present.
The tribunal heard evidence from Ms H Taylor Registration Assessor for the Respondent, Ms J Burvill former Registration Assessor for the Respondent, Mr M Dunford Registration Assessor for the Respondent.
The Appellants appeal against a decision made by the Respondent in November 2010 to refuse to register them as the registered provider and registered manager of a Domicilary Care Agency to be known as Willow House Domiciliary Care Agency Ltd.
The Appeal is made under section 21 of the Care Standards Act 2002. The tribunal has the power under section 21 Care standards Act to confirm the decision to refuse registration, or direct that it should not take effect. The burden of proof is on the Appellants to demonstrate that they should be registered as a provider and as a manager.
In August 2008 Willow house Ltd applied for registration as a provider of a care home for four adults with learning disabilities at Willow House Ltd 52 Myrtle Close Robinswood Gloucester GL4 6YP. Mr Lee Wilson was proposed as the registered manager and Mr Alan Rooney was proposed as the responsible individual. Mr Rooney is the sole director of Willow House Ltd now Willow House Domiciliary Care Ltd. Fit person interviews and a site inspection were carried out by Helen Taylor the Assessor from CQC. Her concerns and a request for some further information was made in a letter dated 15 December 2008.
On 27 January 2008 the appellants withdrew this application. On 28 January 2009 Willow House Ltd applied for registration as a Domiciliary Care Agency (DCA). Mr Lee Wilson was proposed as registered manager and Mr Alan Rooney as responsible individual. The business plan proposed the provision of care and support packages to service users aged between 18 and 65 with a learning disability in their own home. The company was to be based at Kestrel Court Quedgeley Gloucester.
There were delays in the processing of the application. The application was passed to the regulatory assessor on 22 June 2009. The assessor was Ms Burvill. She conducted fit person interviews and a site visit on 5 August 2009.
The Respondent had concerns about the lack of experience and knowledge of both Mr Rooney and Mr Wilson. Mr Rooney had experience of being a teacher and head of Department at Gloucester College. Mr Wilson had been working in a care home and managing a small team. The Respondent took the view that their answers an interview demonstrated that they did not have sufficient grasp of the legislative framework and responsibilities attached to their proposed roles running a DCA.
Mr Mark Dunford, regional registration manager for the Respondent at the time, decided to issue a notice to refuse registration to Willow House Ltd and Mr Lee Wilson as manager. This notice was issued on 16 October 2009. Willow house submitted written representations and these were considered by a different director within the Respondent. The Respondent's decision was to refuse both applications. It is against those decisions that the Appellants make this appeal.
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND ISSUES LEADING TO THE HEARING
The regulations which apply to this application are the Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 (``DCA regulations''). Under section 13 of the Care Standards Act 2000 the Respondent shall refuse an application for registration if it is not satisfied that the requirements of the regulations under section 22 and any other relevant enactment are met.
Under DCA regulations the `registered provider' would be Willow house Ltd and the `registered manager' would be Mr Lee Wilson. The phrase `registered person' would refer to Willow House Ltd and Mr Lee Wilson and the `responsible individual' would be Mr Alan Rooney.
The appeal was due to take place on the 6th September 2010. In the previous week the Respondent found out that the Appellant company had been dissolved and notified the Appellant's solicitor who was unaware of this fact. The Appellants requested an adjournment of the appeal to allow the company to be reinstated. The Respondent did not oppose the adjournment however as noted later in this decision the Respondent asks the tribunal to award costs to reflect the extra cost of having...
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