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BMA criticises embattled health service regulator

  • 9 Comments

The under-fire health regulator is “not fit for purpose”, leading doctors have said.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said that it has “no confidence” in the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) ability to regulate health services.

Dr Mark Corcoran told the BMA’s annual conference in Edinburgh that the CQC had “failed” to perform its essential duties.

He listed a series of blunders by the regulator, including the latest cover-up scandal and its failure to properly investigate Winterbourne View care home where a number of patients were abused by some of the staff.

“It transpires that CQC ‘inspected’ Winterbourne View three times in the two years prior to May 2011 and judged it to be compliant with essential standards of quality and safety,” he said.

“It seems CQC failed to perform its essential duties.”

He questioned whether the organisation had changed following the criticism it received in the past.

“Has it changed? Has it heck,” he said. “Now, Furness General Hospital - here we go again - this time it appears the CQC may have failed to pinpoint avoidable deaths in the maternity unit.

“But worse still, there is a suggestion that they covered up a report criticising the truth.

“What on earth are CQC playing at? Why do they still exist? How many chances are they going to get? If they were doctors they would have been struck off.

“I appreciate that there have been changes in management but from what I read in the press, the organisation blunders on in a hail of finger-pointing, back-biting and recrimination, still seeking to justify itself as a credible force, still seeking to blame those who have gone before.”

Delegates at the conference passed a motion saying that the BMA “believes CQC is not fit for purpose” and that they have “no confidence in the ability of CQC to regulate health services”.

They also said that the information governance function of the regulator should be “removed forthwith”.

Three senior officials at the regulator have been accused of agreeing to suppress a report which highlighted its failure to properly investigate the spate of deaths of babies and new mothers at Furness Hospital in Cumbria.

All three officials, the former chief executive Cynthia Bower, her deputy Jill Finney and media manager Anna Jefferson, deny the claims.

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  • 9 Comments

Readers' comments (9)

  • '“It transpires that CQC ‘inspected’ Winterbourne View three times in the two years prior to May 2011 and judged it to be compliant with essential standards of quality and safety,” he said.'

    There is an interesting analysis about the reliability of 'evidence' flowing from that.

    But almost every 'body' gets dragged into this type of criticism - yesterday one of the papers was saying an SHA had tried to 'silence' a critical report, to protect its own reputation.



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  • If you read some of the recent inspection reports from CQC it is evident that some of the inspectors have little or no understanding of what they are looking at or inspecting.
    Some places have imaculate documentation and can give a good verbal acouunt, but acutally fall down in the delivery of care
    Some places have good care but their processess let them down
    I often wonder whether Winterbourne View was one of the good document places whenn it was passing the inspection
    Feed back from relatives and service users that can be obtained in a safe and secure way is needed. So that they don't feel as if they would be persecuted for giving honest and frank remarks about their care

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 28-Jun-2013 3:06 pm

    'Feed back from relatives and service users that can be obtained in a safe and secure way is needed. So that they don't feel as if they would be persecuted for giving honest and frank remarks about their care'

    DEFINITELY - the no 1 route to improvement, in my opinion.

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  • if they are not fit for purpose then get rid of them. that's what they do to individual nurses.

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 28-Jun-2013 3:06 pm
    totally agree.

    Paperwork rules OK but they do not have the understanding to use their eyes and ears.

    They hae been found seriously wanting on a few highlighted occasions but probably many more that have been covered up.

    How can we trust such a corrupt organisation?

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  • Anonymous

    There was s discussion about Hospital Chaplains on R4 this morning, and someone commented 'that nurses, doctors and patients understand what chaplains do, but very often middle manager (who control the purse strings) don't'.

    The CQC is one of many bits of the health system, which has clearly made mistakes, but everywhere you can see a pattern of openly criticising when others try to 'hide' their mistakes, while not being very open about 'our own failings'.

    It isn't as simple as scrapping the CQC - it is a horribly complicated problem to deal with, the introduction throughout the NHS of the 'openness and transparency' Francis so loudly called for!

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  • zuke

    The so-called 'independent' report into Furness General Hospital which caused such a furore over the competence of the CQC is not as independent as it is claimed to be:-
    http://wp.me/p3mYc5-5J

    And I have no confidence in the new Board members who are now apparently calling for hospital closures. Given the fact that their CEO is now an ex Chairman of the Conservative Party I'm not surprised:-
    http://wp.me/p3mYc5-78

    Its been suggested that the CQC should join forces with Monitor to bring scrutiny under one roof. Heaven forbid.

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  • why use such a dysfunctional system at all. Companies which specialise in setting and maintaining internaional (ISO Norm) or even European standards and responsiblise all of the staff are far more effective, transparent, cost effective and comparative with other services.

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  • 1234

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