A “crisis of confidence” in the Care Quality Commission following the latest care scandal could prevent nurses from blowing the whistle on similar failings, it has been warned.
The CQC has come under fire after it failed to adequately investigate claims by a care home nurse that residents with learning disabilities were being abused.
A BBC Panorama programme shown last week revealed residents at the home in Bristol, run by private firm Castlebeck, were physically harmed and ridiculed by staff.
Royal College of Nursing head of policy Howard Catton said: “This creates the potential for a crisis of confidence in the regulator.”
He said it was “a significant and worrying consequence” of the episode that nurses could be reluctant to whistleblow, fearing no action would be taken.
Health select committee chair Stephen Dorrell has claimed nurses and the Nursing and Midwifery Council also had to take some responsibility for care failings.
Speaking on BBC’s Question Time on Thursday, he said: “There were nurses employed in that home – what were the nurses doing? Is there not a professional obligation on a nurse to make certain that the care they see being provided around them meets proper professional standards?”
The committee is due to hold an inquiry into NHS regulation, at which leaders from the NMC and CQC will be invited to give evidence in public.
NMC chief executive and registrar Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes said a number of nurses from Castlebeck were being investigated. He added that the involvement of healthcare assistants demonstrated the “serious gap in public protection” caused by their unregulated status.
The CQC is currently reviewing its actions relating to Castlebeck and the inspection of hospitals caring for people with learning disabilities.
Has the Care Quality Commission's failure to act on warnings of abuse dettered you from whistleblowing?