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CQC issues warning after slimming clinic fined

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a warning to medical service providers who fail to register with the commission. 

The owners of an Essex slimming clinic were ordered to pay a total of £36,000 after failing to register their services with the CQC.

Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton, directors of Classytrade Limited, were fined £25,000 after admitting they had failed to register The Saint James Slimming and Beauty Clinic in Brentwood and ordered to pay £11,001 prosecution costs following the case brought by CQC.

The CQC said it received an anonymous tip-off about the service in March 2018, after an advert claiming the clinic would help customers ‘get slim fast’ appeared in the local newspaper. The advert made references to medical services including, a ‘sympathetic private consultation with a qualified doctor’, ‘two weeks’ supply of medicine’ and ‘carefully selected diet sheets’.

When inspectors checked the commission’s database, no records of the provider or the service could be found. Owners Russell and Jacqueline Eglinton initially disputed that the service needed to be registered with the CQC, saying they believed the service was covered by the General Medical Council (GMC) registration of the doctor they employed, but the CQC said it was not the case.

Following the inspection, the CQC brought the prosecution which alleged that carried on a regulated activity (services in slimming clinics) without being registered to do so, contrary to section 10(1) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the offence at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in July 2019 and were fined following a hearing on September 6. The service is no longer in operation.

Joyce Frederick, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for registration, said medical service providers can face an unlimed fine if they fail to register their services. She said:

‘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.

‘Owners of care services can face an unlimited fine if they provide a service without registration and, where we find services that are not registered, we will take legal action.

‘We hope that this case will serve as a warning to other slimming clinics to make sure they are appropriately registered with CQC before they carry out any services or care to patients.’

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