Care Quality Commission criticised
The House of Commons Health Select Committee has said that The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the health and care regulator for England set up in 2009 – has failed to earn public confidence.The Committee reported that the CQC has still failed to demonstrate that it is performing its primary role of ensuring patient safety. It is now 18 months since the Committee reported that the CQC had developed “tick box culture” and had totally lost sight of what should be its main purpose – to protect patients.MPs have said that the CQC have now indicated that they are aware of the changes they need to make and have recruited new inspectors, but at the same time said that it had failed to clearly define its core purpose or to earn public confidence. The committee’s chairman said that the primary focus for the CQC should be to make sure that the public are aware and confident that it is providing an assurance of proper and acceptable standards in care and patient safety.Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor at Ashtons Legal, said: “It is depressing in the extreme that three years after the CQC was set up, the Health Select Committee has found that this regulatory body is still failing patients and the public at large. Patients and their families have a right to expect that the health care they receive at what is often a time of great distress and vulnerability is of the highest quality and that this is overseen appropriately.The Health and Safety mantra is something that has almost become a byword for the high levels of protection afforded to people in the workplace and in public places. How much more important that there should be the highest levels of concern to provide and maintain the best possible levels of care in the NHS. It is saddening that the chief executive of the NHS confederation has said that his members have no confidence that the CQC would be ‘fit for purpose’ this year.It is not just patients who will feel let down by the failures of the CQC, but many health professionals whose commitment is to their patients. They also have the reasonable expectation that proper regulation is being provided by the CQC. Sadly it seems no one can be confident of this any time soon.”
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