On Wednesday, health minister Paul Burstow announced: "I have already ordered a thorough examination of the roles of both CQC [the care homes regulator] and the local authorities in this case. I am determined to strengthen the system of safeguarding to protect vulnerable adults from abuse."
It would be fair to assume that a “thorough investigation” would be independent. But apparently not. Health department officials told me today the only two investigations currently being carried out are by the CQC itself and South Gloucestershire council.
My comment: Allowing the two public bodies who initially ignored the problem to then investigate themselves rather suggests that the Minister is either not fit for purpose or is keen to give them the opportunity to sweep everything under the carpet. Why an earth would a Minister want to help a failing watchdog to bury their failures? Probably so they can bury the problem before it leads back to his department. After all the DCLG have been doing this for years for the Local Government Ombudsman, yet another failing watchdog. Ed Balls also did something similar with Ofsted when the Baby P scandal looked like it may lead back to his office.
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