CQC issues warning over registration after slimming clinic fined

Medical services providers have been warned over failing to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after the owners of a slimming clinic were ordered to pay a total of £36,000 for breaching registration rules.

The regulator received anonymous information about the The Saint James Slimming and Beauty Clinic in Brentwood, Essex in March 2018, following an advertisement in a local newspaper.

The advert said people could ‘Get Slim Fast’ and made references to a ‘sympathetic private consultation with a qualified doctor’, ‘two weeks’ supply of medicine’ and ‘carefully selected diet sheets.’

When inspectors checked the database, no records of the provider or the service could be found. Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, directors of Classytrade Limited, initially disputed that the service needed to be registered with the CQC but, in June 2018, registration inspectors visited the premises.

Following the inspection, the CQC brought the prosecution which alleged that between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018, Classytrade Limited, Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, carried on a regulated activity (services in slimming clinics) from The Saint James Slimming and Beauty Clinic, at 25a Ongar Road, Brentwood, without being registered to do so; contrary to section 10(1) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

A hearing in September was told the defendants had not appreciated the service should be registered with the CQC and believed the service was covered by the General Medical Council registration of the doctor they employed.

The defendants were fined £25,000 after admitting they had failed to register the clinic. They were also ordered to pay £11,001 prosecution costs following the case brought by CQC. The service is no longer in operation.

‘Services providing medical care must register with CQC by law. When they fail to do so we cannot monitor the care being provided and that could pose a risk to people receiving treatment,’ said Joyce Frederick, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for registration. ‘When services, like Classytrade Limited in Brentwood, fail to register with us it means we are not able to check that care being provided meets the standards people should be able to expect and that ultimately people are kept safe while receiving treatment.’