CQC ‘Must Learn Lessons After Missing Care Home Inspection Target’

Expert Demands Urgent Improvements

02.12.2011

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) must make urgent improvements to its number of care home inspections if residents and their families are to gain reassurances over their safety and welfare, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.

New research from the National Audit Office has revealed major concerns in relation to the performance of the CQC, revealed that the level of inspections fell following its introduction in 2009.

According to the study, the focus on timetables for registering care providers meant that the body was only able to complete 47 per cent of its target number of compliance reviews between October 2010 and April this year.

The CQC has already responded to the report, stating that it is now “on the right track” in terms of improving inspections and observing care.

Jonathan Peacock, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in cases related to abuse and neglect in care homes. He has acted in numerous high-profile cases, including for families of residents affected by problems at the Maypole Nursing Home in Birmingham.

He said: “There have been a number of worrying reports which have emerged over recent months, including the particularly shocking allegations made towards the standards of care at Winterbourne View in Bristol.

“Because of this, it is a massive concern to see that the CQC has not met targets for inspections. Such assessments play a key role in ensuring the most vulnerable members of society are getting the care they need in a respectful and dignified manner.

“However, if inspections aren’t carried out, how do the families of residents know that their loved ones are in safe hands and being treated properly?

“It is awful that care home residents can be subjected to abuse and neglect, but inspections provide a vital opportunity to ensure that the best interests of those in care always come first.

“The NHS and the care sector have a poor record on the treatment of whistleblowers and the current system relies too heavily on staff and clinicians raising concerns. The CQC must learn lessons from its audit and we hope that it can significantly improve its work in this area. Only then can families rest assured that lessons will be learned from the terrible mistakes seen in the past.”

If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected whilst in a care, our care & nursing home abuse claims team could help you to secure compensation. See ourElder Abuse Compensation Claims page for more information.