No-one can expect a health regulator to get things right every single time. Employees are only human and human error cannot be avoided on “occasion”. However, a health regulator who consistently gets it wrong over and over is not only a danger to patient safety but a huge waste of vital resources. Vital resources that could be better spent elsewhere and are most certainly needed elsewhere in our under funded and under staffed NHS hospitals and care homes. In times of austerity all waste of public and government funds needs to be eliminated with haste, whilst not compromising patient health and safety. This always needs to be the main focus and priority.
With horror story after horror story emerging in the news on an almost daily basis and scandals happening at hospitals and care homes up and down the country (for decades) safety and regulation is clearly lacking, which means healthcare regulators are failing at their jobs and endangering hospital and social care patients, instead of making sure they are safe.
Viewing the problem as a broader picture, it would seem the regulators the care quality commission who are meant to ensure good health and social care within organisations and patient safety are themselves part of the problem and not the solution where poor healthcare and social care is occurring . Their track record speaks for itself. If they were doing their jobs properly and competently the horror stories and scandals would not be taking place.
Their ethos is : The Care Quality Commission (CQC) makes sure hospitals, care homes, dental and GP surgeries, and all other care services in England provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care, and encourages these services to make improvements.
In reality, many who have had contact with the CQC with complaints about bad care, especially in hospitals, know nothing could be further from the truth regarding the care they have received. It is nothing like the standard the CQC quote as their ethos. Many have then reported their bad care to the CQC (myself included) only to have the complaint rebuked by the CQC, with no resolve. This ranges from complainants with serious injuries and harm, to complainants of dead relatives.
It’s not hard to spot a failing, cash strapped, poorly managed hospital that is dangerous to patients and providing low quality or abysmal care. It’s not hard to spot a hospital where limited staff are rushed off their feet and don’t have time to attend to individual patient needs properly and effectively. It’s not hard to spot a dirty hospital or one that has a higher than average infection rate. It’s not hard to spot a hospital that has higher than average mortality rates. It’s not hard to spot a hospital that has higher than average patient harm figures.
Here is just one of those failing, cash strapped, dirty, poorly managed hospitals that has had a succession of less than honest and incompetent CEO’S and managers, not to mention until recently a paedophile on the board of directors. Thankfully Samuel Hagan is no longer there. It has failed to meet required standards for years and regulators have allowed it to continue, with little concern shown. Strangely, the only department that was actually succeeding and meeting all targets was the children’s department. No doubt Samuel Hagan had a hand in that!
Nor is it hard to spot a badly run and poorly managed care home where elderly residents are clearly unhappy due to neglect and lack of heartfelt care. Or the other poor souls who are being physically/sexually/emotionally/financially abused…better known as domestic violence. Our elderly deserve far better and this is one of the target areas that the CQC should be focussing on, as they are far more vulnerable to abuse and less likely to speak up about it than younger generations.
All the above are good indicators that patients will more than likely be or will be suffering poor care, patient harm or unnecessary death. Yet the CQC seem oblivious to warning signs and are failing to spot bad hospitals and care homes over and over and thus allowing the very thing they are meant to prevent…patient harm and death.
How many more documentaries do people have to watch and witness the real horrors occurring in places that are meant to heal and care before someone actually realises not only is it their job to stop this, it is their job to prevent it happening in the first place. The latest Panorama Undercover has shocked many, but sadly many more know this is common and not isolated. The problem is getting worse not better. Remember only a small amount of elderly abuse is actually caught on covert filming…therefore the true scale of abuse is far higher than ever will be shown publicly.
One of the most recent and beyond belief failings by the CQC (that was buried from the publics eyes by the media so I exposed it on Facebook and here) that could have had catastrophic consequences for many, was issuing an insurance company health care registration when they no longer existed as they had closed the company and moved to another insurance firm .
With this “fraudulent” healthcare registration sought purely for devious motives, it meant that the group of insurance men along with the gypsy/Asian criminals they had linked up with, using two doctors of their choice could legally use the Liverpool Care Pathway…AND PUT INNOCENT PEOPLE TO SLEEP!
They had literally handed a group of criminal men a licence to kill. This was probably the most incompetent and biggest faux pas they have ever made in their history of cock ups. Especially when the insurance men, gypsies and Asians concerned wanted to “bump off” someone legally owed millions in compensation and damages, but that they didn’t want to pay, still haven’t paid and have committed untold fraud and crimes to TRY and escape paying.
As the CQC have taken no action against the company or prosecuted them for this fraud (or the 4 yrs of serious abuse they have reigned along with other officials against the patient and relatives), people have assumed the CQC condone the actions and support the companies fraudulent actions and were quite possibly/probably “in on the insurers crimes”.
So as the harmed patient left with arterial brain damage, disabilities and a death sentence was reporting the insurers for harm and expecting help from the “protectors of patients” the protectors had teamed up with the harmers.
WHAT CAN YOU SAY! Other than they are clearly a danger to people’s safety and wellbeing because they team up with the harmers of patients and collude to cover that harm or they really just haven’t got a clue where patient safety is concerned. Both pretty dismal outcomes considering the amount of funding they get.
SO WHO EXACTLY AT THE CQC IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GIVING A GROUP OF DANGEROUS AND CORRUPT INSURERS WHOSE BUSINESS NO LONGER EXISTED THE ABILITY TO “BUMP OFF” A PATIENT THAT THEY HAD ALREADY LEFT WITH CATASTROPHIC ARTERIAL BRAIN DAMAGE, DISABILITIES AND DEATH SENTENCE?
That person needs sacking for the worst incompetence ever known in their history, or to be hauled before a judge for conspiracy to murder! Either way they need to take accountability for their failings and the disastrous consequences they could have had. Not just to the patient but to the wider public too.
The CQC are not short of funding. The CQC are not short on staff. There is simply no excuse for so many failings and shortcomings on their part…that have led to unnecessary cases of patient harm and many needless deaths. Worse still they take no accountability and accept no responsibility for their failings and shortcomings. They also openly admit they “cannot guarantee” they will spot another scandal on the scale of Mid Staffs as reported in this Telegraph Report I think the comments in this next article sum it up nicely about the funding of the QCQ. In fact the comments are quite probably “truer” than the news article itself. CQC: too big a remit, too little funding? It is like almost ANY other health regulator or government organisation. The fat cats are creaming it…left, right and centre.
Therefore, they are pretty much a useless quango and costly waste that the country can ill afford. No amount of staff reorganisation and changes of board members can solve that. In all reality it would seem the CQC don’t even know themselves how to tackle their shortcomings and failings.
Some easy to carry out strategies to improve regulation could include
1) Each hospital and care home in the United Kingdom should be assigned a permanent CQC Chief Inspector who is in charge and responsible for overseeing and monitoring their assigned hospital/care home along with their CQC Team Inspectors. When problems then arise and scandals occur due to failings of the CQC (and hospital/care home), accountability can be placed in the necessary place and the Chief Inspector and team responsible sanctioned or sacked depending on the seriousness of the case. As it stands now, no-one is ever responsible. Nor is anyone ever sanctioned or sacked…but more often than not and a corrupt practice that needs to end immediately, they are given a lovely payout to keep quiet and are just moved elsewhere within a different healthcare setting or organisation.
2) Inspections need to be taking place at all hospitals and care homes on a monthly basis and even more frequent if problems are suspected or detected. Occasional visits are just not good enough and this is one of the main reasons problems are not nipped in the bud, before they become problems festering out of control and scandals in the news.
3) Inspections need to be carried out at random. Warning a hospital or care home of inspection dates, times and visits defeats the point and is like giving a burglar a key to the castle.
4) There needs to be a system introduced whereby the CEO and board of management of all hospitals and care homes are thoroughly vetted at all levels, before employment takes place. Along with a more stringent process for all employees employed and volunteers.
5) There needs to be better training of Chief Inspectors and Team Inspectors so they learn to actually understand what they need to be looking for when inspecting hospitals and care homes. Sometimes the issues are blatantly obvious. Other times, they are poorly hidden by senior staff but the “warning signs” are clearly visible to outsiders. CEO’s, directors and managements have one desire…to protect the reputation of their trusts, hospitals and care homes, doctors and dentists followed by keeping their jobs and wages. Hence why they are keen to brush the real problems and issues under the carpet and keep them kept hidden from regulators.
6) Don’t give healthcare registration and a licence to kill, to closed businesses employing insurance men who wanted to bump off an insurance claimant who is legally owed millions in compensation and damages from them.
7) Step up to the plate and take action against the people and places who harm patients/residents/whistle blowers of poor care…instead of colluding with them and covering their backs.
Patients and the public deserve the best in health and social care and if the CQC cannot make sure organisations registered with them are providing exactly that and nothing less, they need to be disbanded along with all the other failing regulators in the United Kingdom. They too are all currently costing the earth, involved in underhand practices and doing nowt “they say on the tin”. AND the great British public are paying for them! We can only hope that Mr David Prior is the successful man to turn the organisation around. Even Mr Prior himself declared the organisation as “not fit for purpose” in this BBC news article If he cannot do it, it is time to finally shut the door and accept defeat.
The try, try again method is not acceptable where patient safety is concerned.
© Nicola Jenkins ~ All Rights Reserved.