Care leaders have voiced their concerns over the CQC’s inspection system following revelations this week that three advisers had been dismissed for duplicating material in reports.
The Times revealed on Tuesday that almost 40 care homes will have to be re-inspected following the incidents. The CQC responded to the report with a statement confirming the removal of the individuals from inspections and that re-inspections would have to take place.
Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, (pictured) said: “The recent article in the Times about the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports is very worrying for care providers and the general public. Care providers have invested heavily in improving quality, transparency and developing open cultures and have a right to expect the same from the regulator, particularly since providers are paying significant amounts of money for this service.
“Citizens also need to be confident in the CQC assessments, because this is the primary source of information when they are making life changing decisions about care. Care providers expect the Care Quality Commission to be open and transparent, and for their reports to be accurate. If there have to be re-inspections of some services, a refund on the regulatory fees paid by providers should be given because the service has not been delivered to the required standard.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chairman of the National Care Association, said she was “not surprised” that the malpractice had been brought to light, adding the incidents were an example of a “failing system” that had direct impact on care providers who fund the CQC.
“The sector pays for a robust and independent inspectorate and rely on a fair and consistent process but this report raises major concerns about the quality of the people employed to carry out these inspections,” Nadra told CHP.
“It should be noted that this failing compromises providers who are judged by commissioners, lenders and the public on the rating provided. If a provider was found to be doing this they would be rated inadequate…we must draw our own conclusions!”
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG), said the incidents had damaged the CQC’s reputation and raised the question: who is inspecting the inspectors?
“The CQC is, justifiably, very quick to punish care providers if they fall short and shows very little leniency,” Mike added.
“We need to have confidence in the CQC so it is gratifying to see that the organisation is being just as swift in acting to get its own house in order.”