Week 25: Villain – The Care Quality Commission*

by Ray_North on June 24, 2013

villain_2_iconThis Week’s Villains are those at the Care Quality Commission who have allegedly helped cover up systemic failures at University Hospital Morcambe Bay NHS Foundation

It’s almost a year since the Olympic Opening Ceremony quite properly proclaimed that we as a nation should be extremely proud of the National Health Service. And quite bloody right too.

We have in this country a system of health care that is free at the point of entry, universal and uniquely brilliant – it is run by the state for us. As such we have to cherish it, nurture it and protect it. We have to ensure that it remains free and that it remains universal and that it remains as effective as it possibly can in looking after us if we are ill. It is too important to fail.

To that end, those who regulate the various parts of the NHS must be professional and in terms of their honesty and integrity beyond reproach.

Sadly, the allegations made against certain members of the Care Quality Commission, former Chief Executive Cynthia Bower, her deputy Jill Finney and the media manager Anna Jefferson, suggesting that they decided to suppress a report condemning the inherent weaknesses of their own system of inspections into the Hospital in Morcambe Bay that failed to uncover problems that may have led to the deaths of infants, undermine the NHS, our NHS.

It’s bad enough that mistakes are being made within the NHS that has led to the deaths of babies; it is awful that those who were given the task of regulating those hospitals were unable to do their job competently enough to nip such mistakes in the bud at an early stage and ensure that they were rectified; but, critically, the fact that those people who were at the helm of the organisation charged with carrying out inspections and reviews appear to have made a concerted effort to suppress a report to save their own skins, is, well, is villainous.

Thankfully, a further enquiry was carried out, and thankfully the names of those involved have been exposed (I note that all three mentioned above deny any wrongdoing) – because a failure to expose them would have led to further mistakes and, ultimately a further diminution in what is, as I said earlier, our service.

*Not all of the CQC, just those I mentioned above who were named in the Grant Thornton Report as having attempted to suppress the inherent weaknesses of the inspection into the Barrow-in-Furness Hospital.

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