Care home watchdog improving
THE watchdog that failed residents of a Bristol care home has improved – but there is more work to be done, a report says.
A committee of MPs said the Care Quality Commission had got better since the scandal at Winterbourne View, near Bradley Stoke, which closed following allegations of abuse in a BBC documentary.
The CQC was heavily criticised at the time for failing to act on the concerns of a whistleblower. Today's report says that while whistleblowing procedures have improved, a dedicated hotline should be reopened.
PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: "The CQC plays an absolutely vital role in protecting people from poor quality or unsafe care, but it has failed to perform that role effectively.
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"It has clearly been struggling for some time and the Department of Health, which is ultimately responsible, has not had a grip on what the commission has been doing."
Last month Cynthia Bower, the head of the CQC, announced she was stepping down from her role.
The CQC was formed in 2009 when three previous regulators merged, and oversees all health and adult social care in England.
It regulates more than 21,000 care providers, but the report says it has more responsibilities but less money than its predecessors.
The PAC warns: "We have serious concerns about the Commission's governance, leadership and culture."
The CQC told the committee its arrangements had improved since Winterbourne View, with a team of six people to make sure every call is followed up by an inspector.