Wednesday, 1 June 2011

CQC another watchdog not fit for purpose?

Four people who work at a Bristol residential hospital for vulnerable adults have been arrested following a BBC Panorama investigation.

An investigation has also been launched by the NHS after secret filming exposed shocking abuse at the privately-run specialist residential mental health hospital in Hambrook.

Patients are being moved out of Winterbourne View, a privately owned, purpose-built 24-bed facility for people with learning disabilities and autism. The unit has also been barred from taking new admissions.

Care of patients is funded by the taxpayer, via the NHS, at a rate of £3,500 per patient, per week.

A spokeswoman for NHS South West said: "We are appalled by the issues raised surrounding Winterbourne View, a privately run unit of Castlebeck Care Ltd.

"We always expect safe, high quality care from providers of services and the abuse of vulnerable patients is totally unacceptable.

"Once we were alerted to these serious allegations we immediately launched an urgent preliminary review to ensure that patients with care placements at Winterbourne View were safe and to reassess the quality of care they have received at this private unit.

"Following initial checks, and a subsequent inspection by the Care Quality Commission, it has been agreed that patients should move to alternative facilities at the earliest opportunity."

My comment: Subsequent inspection by a Watchdog is just not good enough. We need watchdogs who are proactive and not staffed by people who used to work for the bodies they are supposed to be watching. Particularly those who have a track record of failure.

Read the full story from the source  This is Bristol

UPDATE 2nd June 2011: The full scale of the authorities’ failure to stop systematic abuse at a residential hospital was exposed after a whistle-blower disclosed that his warnings had been ignored for nearly six months.

Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the hospital for people with learning difficulties, said that both the care home’s management and the Care Quality Commission, the regulator, had failed to act on his “grave” concerns about the behaviour of staff.

He wrote: “Certain established staff members seem to relish restraint procedures. I have witnessed some with smiles on their faces as they restrain people. I see scant regard for the person’s feelings whilst they are being held … and definitely no empathy.”

When his managers failed to address his concerns, Mr Bryan resigned. He complained to the Care Quality Commission in December, stating that serious abuse was taking place at Winterbourne and asking it to get in touch with him.

He received no response other than two automated emails. He subsequently called the commission, only to be told that the person dealing with his complaint was on holiday. Frustrated by the failure of the authorities to take his complaint seriously, Mr Bryan turned to Panorama.

My comment: Told you that the Care Quality Commission was not fit for purpose. The same goes for the Local Government Ombudsman and many other so callled watchdogs. 

The problem is the government doesn't appear capable of joining the dots and realising that our not fit for purpose watchdogs and ombudsmen are part of the problem not part of the solution

Read the full story from the source Telegraph

UPDATE (2) 2nd June 2011: On 22 July 2008, it was announced that Cynthia Bower had been appointed as the Commission's Chief Executive. Cynthia Bower was previously chief executive of NHS West Midlands.

Bower's appointment was called into question following the publication of the report of the investigation into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust by the Healthcare Commission in March 2009. The report criticised the strategic health authority, NHS West Midlands, (of which Bower was chief executive from 2006 to 2008) for having "accepted without detailed scrutiny" the trust's account that it was taking effective action in response to high mortality figures.

The report did also note that NHS West Midlands had commissioned the University of Birmingham to undertake research into the mortality rate at the trust. Shortly after publication of the report the Health Service Journal noted that Bower had been criticised for not doing more to prevent the problems at Mid Staffordshire.

The criticisms of Bower prompted the Care Quality Commission to issue a public defence of its chief executive which was also reported in the Health Service Journal at the beginning of April.

My comment: I refer readers to my earlier post. Still waiting for the government to connect the dots.

Read more on Wikipedia

UPDATE (3) 5th June 2011: Another Winterbourne View whistleblower was ignored.

Now the Daily Mirror has revealed that recently qualified nurse Ashleigh Fox alerted management at the Bristol care home and also contacted health watchdogs months before the Panorama ­investigation began.

Ashleigh, 25,telephoned Care Quality Commission regulators in October 2010. The commission said it would call back for more details, but never did.

My comment: Final proof that the Care Quality Commission is not fit for purpose.

Read the full story from the source News Jiffy

UPDATE (4) 6th June 2011:  Care Quality Commission regional director apologises.

Ian Biggs, the commission’s South West regional director, said: “There was an opportunity we missed and that meant suffering and cruelty was potentially prolonged. We missed that chance and we’re sorry for that.”

My comment: If I was a minister you would have been more than sorry you would have been looking for a new job along with your boss Cynthia Bower. 

Read the full story from the source Sunday Mercury

Read all articles about the NHS, all articles about the Care Quality Commission or all articles about Watchdogs on this blog

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