CQC admits acting too slowly following cover-up allegations

David Behan

An independent investigation has been commissioned by the CQC following allegations of a ‘cover-up’ of the rape of a former resident in a service for people with learning disabilities.

The allegations in a Times article concern a resident at the Colne Road service in North London, which was run by Hillgreen Care Ltd.

Speaking yesterday, Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “Today’s coverage in the Times has rightfully challenged the action we have taken in respect of the care provided to the people who were resident at Colne Road.

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“Whilst we did take action that led to the closure of this and two other services run by the Hillgreen Care Ltd, I believe that we could and should have taken action more speedily, both to ensure people were safe and in prosecuting this provider.

“Consequently, I am commissioning an independent investigation, which will report publicly to the CQC Board and identify what has happened, what we should have done differently and which will make recommendations to strengthen our future work.

“We expect openness and transparency from those we regulate and we will hold ourselves to account to those same standards.

“Details of the investigation and the person who will lead it will be confirmed in due course.”

The CQC inspected the Colne Road service in November 2015 following the alleged incident involving the rape of a former resident.

During this and the CQC’s further inspections in January and March 2016, the incident was the subject of an ongoing police investigation, which concluded in December 2016.

The CQC began to cancel the registration of the Colne Road service in February 2016. This process concluded in January 2017.

In April 2015, the CQC acquired additional powers to prosecute providers and individuals when people within their care have been harmed or placed at risk of harm.

Using these, the CQC is actively pursuing what further action it can take against Hillgreen Care Ltd in relation to the failings it identified at the Colne Road site.

In addition to this, as a result of CQC’s actions, Hillgreen Care Ltd’s services closed at Oxford Gardens, College Park Road and Myddleton Road respectively.

Its other services at Stoke Newington Common, Herbert Road and Ruskin Road remain under review.

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