NHS watchdog faces investigation as concerns mount over patient care.
The watchdog responsible for overseeing NHS hospitals and care homes is being urgently investigated by the Department of Health over a series of alleged failures that could have risked patient care.
DoH officials and NHS bosses have acted after mounting concerns about the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Guardian can reveal.
The CQC's chief executive, Cynthia Bower, spent last Thursday morning being questioned by Una O'Brien, the health department's permanent secretary, before a team of Whitehall officials descended on the watchdog's headquarters in the City that afternoon.
The inquiry coincides with investigations by the National Audit Office and the Commons public accounts committee.
The Guardian has established that:
• The CQC misled parliament
in its annual report, overstating the number of inspections and reviews
of the NHS, independent healthcare and adult social care sectors it
carried out. Rather than the 15,220 "inspections and reviews" it claimed
to have undertaken in the year ending March 2011, it has now admitted
to the DoH that the correct figure is 7,368.
• There has been rising disquiet over the CQC's "light touch" regulation. Until May 2011, when BBC's Panorama exposed the scandal of abuse at Winterbourne View,
a private hospital for people with learning disabilities, the CQC had
launched just one investigation.
My comment: I know for a fact that another watchdog double, and on occasions treble count complaints to make themselves look more effective that they really are.
The same watchdog also has used the 'light touch' approach so often they only ever investigate fully less than 1% of all complaints submitted. They also mislead people with their annual report and manipulate their customer satisfaction surveys.
The only difference between the Local Government Ombudsmen and the Care Quality Commission is that they haven't yet had a scandal which has drawn attention to their devious ways. It would appear that a scandal is the only way to get MPs to pay attention to the corrupt systems many of our watchdogs and ombudsmen operate.
One other similarity is that like the CQC the Ombudsmnen are recruited from the bodies they are supposed to investigate and that can't be right.
Read the full story from the source Guardian
Read all articles about Watchdogs or all articles about the Care Quality Commission on this blog