The new untouchables

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a report on the failings of Castlebeck’s Winterbourne View Hospital following the exposé broadcast by the BBC’s Panorama programme.

Unsurprisingly, it concludes that there ‘was a “systemic failure to protect people” by the owners of a Bristol hospital’.

I think most of us had worked that out for ourselves, despite not having the benefit of the expensive and pointless exercise in back-covering indulged in by the inept CQC. Even Castlebeck had worked it out: they closed the hospital on 24 June.

CQC criticised Castlebeck for failing to investigate allegations of abuse, a bit rich from an organisation that ignored the complaints of whistleblower Terry Bryan, a senior nurse at the hospital.

They added Castlebeck failed to meet essential standards, required by law, including:

  • The managers did not ensure that major incidents were reported to the Care Quality Commission as required;
  • Planning and delivery of care did not meet people’s individual needs;
  • They did not have robust systems to assess and monitor the quality of services;
  • They did not identify, and manage, risks relating to the health, welfare and safety of patients;
  • They had not responded to or considered complaints and views of people about the service;
  • Investigations into the conduct of staff were not robust and had not safeguarded people;
  • They did not take reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent it before it occurred;
  • They did not respond appropriately to allegations of abuse;
  • They did not have arrangements in place to protect the people against unlawful or excessive use of restraint;
  • They did not operate effective recruitment procedures or take appropriate steps in relation to persons who were not fit to work in care settings;
  • They failed in their responsibilities to provide appropriate training and supervision to staff.

Meanwhile, there are no reports of anybody at the CQC being criticised or losing their handsomely-remunerated jobs despite the body ignoring repeated whistleblowing reports and despite their December 2009 inspection report of Winterbourne View as summarised below (my highlighting):

Safety
Number Standard Topic Assessment
C24 Controlled Drugs Almost met
C23 Ordering and Storage of Medicines Almost met
M8 Suicide Prevention Met
M32 Management of Serious/Untoward
Incidents, Adverse Health Events and
Near Misses Met
M34 Patients Absconding Met
M35 Patient Restraint and Physical
Interventions Met

Clinical and cost effectiveness
Number Standard Assessment
C4 Monitoring Quality Met
M4 Clinical Audit Met

Governance
Number Standard Assessment
C30 Completion of Health Records Met
M6 Staff Training Almost met
M22 Patient’s Records Met

Patient focus
Number Standard Assessment
C1 Information for Patients Almost met
C14 Complaints Process Met
C15 Information for Patients about
Complaints Met
M10 Resuscitation Procedures Met
M27 Quality of Life for Patients Met
(No?)
Care environment and amenities
Number Standard Topic Assessment
A9 Health and Safety Almost met

Summary data courtesy of Paul Williams here

These events have remarkable parallels with the recent Baby P case in which Ofsted produced a glowing report of the Social Services department involved, 17 weeks after Baby P’s death (there was an interesting coda to this case when Ofsted ‘overlooked’  the provision of their original findings to the Shoesmith tribunal – Sharon Shoesmith being the person who carried the can – and was subsequently exonerated).

Both of these cases – as well as the Clare Ward case I wrote about yesterday – are symptomatic of the growing divide between the state and ourselves as well as the increasing tendency to palm the blame to the little people.

Honour and accountability in public office has all but disappeared. But unlike the mote that was the News of the World, our politicians show absolutely no interest in the planks of the public sector.

This entry was posted in Adventures in Time Travel, Big Brother, Justice system, Liberty, Over-regulation, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The new untouchables

  1. Matt Levett says:

    This is indicative of many reports nationwide. The quality of the inspection usually comes down to how good the coffee and biscuits are….

  2. A K Haart says:

    “They had not responded to or considered complaints and views of people about the service;”

    Amazing really – there was no lack of evidence but there never seems to be any desire by the CQC to confront those responsible. It will happen again.

  3. Pingback: The BBC – actively stifling dissent | Adventures in Time Travel

  4. Sue Turner (ex Castlebeck nurse) says:

    The CQC report criticised Winterbourne View management for not investigating abuse….POT, KETTLE, BLACK! I particularly enjoyed the paragraph in the CQC report where the CQC inspector stated that they’d spent over an hour (…over an hour mind), sitting with staff and residents in a lounge at Winterbourne View, recording their observations every five minutes. They apparently observed the staff interacting with residents, in a caring fashion. What a waste of an hour of an inspectors limited time during an inspection……Did they seriously expect Winterbourne View staff (post Panorama), to behave abusively or unprofessionally with a CQC inspector grinding their axe in the corner of the room? A ridiculous paper exercise!

    • Welcome Sue – it’s always good to have some insider input.

      And thanks to Matt and AKH.

      We spend huge amounts of taxpayers’ cash building opulent ivory towers where the inmates create reams of box-ticking exercises, all in the so-called interests of ‘accountability’. The box-ticking exercises reveal less than a five minute unannounced visit would have done (at a lot less expense) but the box-tickers are never accountable. Strange times..

  5. Matt Levett says:

    @ Sue…You are so right. An hour as a CQC inspector is 3 months of misery for someone who is supposedly supported by the venom of underpaid, inadequately trained and under nourished support staff who are taken on as “Bums on Seats” to qualify an exceptable rota. CQC are currently in a mire of unpredictability but will not suffice to adjust. The post panorama expedition is at the least unacceptable; bordering criminal…and this is an apparent governing body.

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