A series of neglect cases registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show that inspection results are not reliable.
The Health Select Committee warns that there is a disconnect between official inspection results in care homes and hospitals, and the standards that service users experience/
The report by MP’s found that the neglect cases have highlighted an area of inaccuracy, and residents are unable to trust the results of official inspections, and this area of misrepresentation is occurring because CQC is failing to to communicate the results of the inspections to the residents and their families, therefore no comparison is made.
The CQC, which brought together three previous regulators, has faced much criticism for failing to act on poor care, or to achieve a proper balance between registering services, ensuring they meet minimum standards, and inspecting them rigorously.
The report warns that there is a danger patient safety is “obscured by other competing priorities”, particularly since the National Patient Safety Agency, who used to identify risks for patients receiving NHS care, was absorbed by the Government into part of The NHS Commissioning Board.
The MP’s report also highlighted that the CQC has not yet won over public confidence and trust.
Conservative Stephen Dorrell, chair of the committee, said:
No one who relies upon a service should be expected to scour the CQC website for inspection results, or chance upon them in a local newspaper report.
The CQC’s primary focus should be to ensure that the public has confidence that its inspections provide an assurance of acceptable standards in care and patient safety. We do not believe that the CQC has yet succeeded in this objective.
It is essential that the CQC reforms its culture and working practices to address these shortcomings. The new CQC Chair must, as a matter of urgency, overhaul its governance structures to ensure the board sets clear objectives for the organisation, holds the executive effectively to account against these objectives, and regularly assesses its own performance and effectiveness.
David Behan, the CQC’s new chief executive, said:
We have already begun to make some of these changes and will continue this process this year. We have demonstrated through the consultation on the strategy an open and transparent approach. We will ensure that openness and transparency are at the heart of the way we develop.
In our strategic review we consulted widely on a clear statement of our purpose and role. We also set out our intentions to improve how we communicate with the public, make better use of information, and work more effectively as an organisation.