The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has reported the loss of up to 500 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates relating to individuals who had applied to become registered members and providers.
David Behan, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission said: “I would like to apologise to the individuals whose DBS certificates have been lost during the recent refurbishment of our office in Newcastle and for any distress this may cause. I deeply regret that this has happened.
“As soon as we became aware of the loss of the files, we carried out a thorough internal investigation to find out exactly what happened and we alerted the relevant authorities, including the Information Commissioner’s Office.
“I intend to commission an independent, external review of CQC’s security arrangements in case wider lessons can be learned and so that we can be confident that something like this does not happen again.”
The DBS, which replaces the Criminal Records Bureau check, was introduced to help public, private and voluntary organisations make safer recruitment decisions.
The CQC is required to request copies of DBS certificates from registered managers with the responsibility of ensuring providers of health and adult social care in England meet the expected standards of quality and safety across their services. It must approve all applications as part of its registration checks.
The incident affects those who had applied to become registered managers and providers between July 2015 and March 2016. CQC has used an online system since April 2016, which has removed the need for paper copies to be retained.