Provider fined for running care agency illegally

An operator of a homecare agency has been fined after admitting to providing care illegally.

Girl Friday Somerset Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £11,141 costs and a £181 victim surcharge at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court after a prosecution by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Pearl Leyshon, a company director, pleaded guilty on behalf of the business to providing a regulated activity – personal care – in people’s own homes without CQC registration, which is a criminal offence.

CQC brought the prosecution after it received information from a former staff member and feedback from representatives of people who had used the company. Girl Friday Somerset Ltd remains unregistered with the regulator.

Emma Boger, CQC’s head of registration – quality and risk assurance, said: ‘It is unacceptable that the director of Girl Friday Somerset Ltd risked people’s safety by running a care service without the benefit of CQC registration, so I welcome the guilty plea.

‘The registration process is important to appropriately assess services before they care for people. Services are then monitored and inspected to ensure that they continue to meet standards that people should be able to expect.

‘Unregistered services operate without oversight, putting people at risk of harm.

‘Monitoring of domiciliary care agencies is especially important, as people who receive care in their own homes can be particularly vulnerable because of their circumstances.’

Girl Friday Somerset Ltd has been contacted for comment.