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Needs improvement: CQC chief’s rating of his own organisation

The CQC is ‘not an outstanding organisation’, and there remains a ‘lot of work still to do’ for the regulator to reach the top rating of its own ratings scale, its chief executive David Behan has admitted.

Speaking at the Westminster Health Forum, Mr Behan said that the CQC was looking at new ways of inspecting providers, including inspecting hospital trusts on their use of resources, and explained its inspection regime that deems GP practices as ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ’requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. 

Following the presentation, chief executive of social care enterprise Turning Point, Lord Victor Adebowale, asked him what was ‘on his own mind’ for the future.

Mr Behan responded: ‘We’ve got a big job to do. We have a lot of work still to do to get on top of the agenda that I’ve just laid out to you. We are not an outstanding organisation. We’ve got more work to do.’

The admission, on which Mr Behan did not elaborate further, comes amid mounting criticism of the organisation from GP leaders.

In June, the RCGP’s blueprint for general practice called for an ‘immediate review’ of the CQC’s inspection regime, which it said causes ‘bureaucracy, red tape and unnecessary workload’ for practices.

Later that month, the RCGP said there should be an ‘emergency pause’ in CQC inspections to relieve pressure on ‘crisis-hit’ practices and avoid risks to patient safety.

LMCs declared war on the CQC in May when, at their annual conference, they voted for the regulator to be decommissioned and its funding invested in frontline services.

In his opening speech to that conference, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the CQC had ’mushroomed into an industry of flawed performance management’.

The CQC also came under heavy criticism from GP leaders last year when it published ’grossly misleading’ information on practices not yet inspected, via its ‘intelligent monitoring’ practice scoring system for prioritising inspections.

However, earlier this month, Professor Steve Field said in an exclusive interview with Pulse that he wants to work to reduce the burden of CQC inspections on GPs.


Readers' comments (16)

  • special measures for CQC? it to spend its own hard earned cash to "show improvment" in 6 months time or be closed down? only fiar right???

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I suppose it would have been difficult for him to describe his own organization (using that word as loosely as the English Language allows) as a foetid pile of excrement covered in the vomit of a million dead rats.

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  • You couldn't make it up.

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  • as terry wogan would say "is it me?"

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  • How about a deal?
    We shift him to the House of Lords, which is what he desperately wants, and in return, he shuts down "his" obnoxious organisation, which is what we want.

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  • Vinci Ho

    If there was no yesterday , today would have never existed.
    (a)Please refer back to the history of CQC:
    It was formed in 1/4/2009 :

    The Health and Social CaIf there was no yesterday , today would have never existed.
    (a)Please refer back to the history of CQC:
    It was formed in 1/4/2009 :

    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 replaced the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission with a single, integrated regulator for health and adult social care - the Care Quality Commission.[5][6] The Care Quality Commission began operating on 1 April 2009 as a non-departmental public body.

    (b)The Healthcare Commission (one of these three components before CQC was formed)was publicly criticised during the Mid-Staffordshire scandal and of course , that also involved David Nicholson. That led to Francis inquiry and report . Hence , we were supposed to have a new culture of 'duty of candour'.
    (c) Then we had the scandals in Winterbourne View and Furness General Hospital . Remember Cynthia Bower?From Wikpedia , it wrote:

    Winterbourne View
    Winterbourne View was a private hospital at Hambrook, South Gloucestershire, owned and operated by Castlebeck. It was exposed in a Panorama investigation into physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, first broadcast in 2011.[4] One senior nurse had reported his concerns directly to CQC, but his complaint was not taken up.[5] The public funded hospital was shut down as a result of the abuse that took place.[6]

    O'Brien report, resignation
    In September 2011 the commissions annual report claimed that it carried out 15,220 inspections in a year, a figure later revised downwards to 7,368. In October 2011 it emerged that the CQC had spent millions of pounds on refurbishments, staff junkets including a visit to Raymond Blanc restaurant, and more than £300 on Krispy Kremedoughnuts.[1]

    In light of wider allegations, Una O’Brien, the then permanent secretary at the Department of Health was appointed to write a report on the CQC. On publication of the report in April 2012 in which Winterbourne View was cited, Bower was forced to resign when O’Brien concluded that "lessons need to be learned from the performance shortcomings of the early years."[1][7] Bower stayed in-post until September 2012, and then retired receiving a lump sum of £200,000 and an annual retirement of £65,000.[1]

    Grant Thornton report
    In August 2012, the new CQC Chief Executive David Behan commissioned a report by management consultants Grant Thornton.[8]The report examined the CQC's response to complaints about baby and maternal deaths and injuries at Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and was instigated by a complaint from a member of the public and "an allegation of a cover-up submitted by a whistleblower at CQC."[9][10] It was published on 19 June 2013.[11]

    Among the findings, the CQC was "accused of quashing an internal review that uncovered weaknesses in its processes" and had allegedly "deleted the review of their failure to act on concerns about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust." One CQC employee claimed that he was instructed by a senior manager "to destroy his review because it would expose the regulator to public criticism."[11] The report concluded: "We think that the information contained in the [deleted] report was sufficiently important that the deliberate failure to provide it could properly be characterised as a 'cover-up'."[12]

    In June 2013, following a series of critical reports and facing 30 civil claims for negligence, it was announced that the organisation would be subjected to a public inquiry.[13] David Prior, who was appointed CQC Chair in February 2013, admitted that the organisation was "not fit for purpose."[14]Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, issued an official apology in the House of Commons for "the appalling suffering" of the 30 families involved.[13]

    On 20 June 2013, Behan and Prior agreed to release the names of previously redacted senior managers within the Grant Thornton report, who it is alleged had suppressed the internal CQC report. The people named were Cynthia Bower, deputy CEO Jill Finney, and media manager Anna Jefferson, who were all said by Grant Thornton to be present at a meeting where deletion of a critical report was allegedly discussed. Bower and Jefferson immediately denied being involved in a cover-up.[15] In a later interview with The Independent, Bower accused the CQC of commissioning the Grant Thornton report that was neither fair nor reasonable and “against natural justice”, but admitted that the CQC inspection whilst she was CEO had failed to uncover failings at Morecambe Bay trust: "We should have registered it with conditions."[16]

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  • Vinci Ho

    So when Master Yoda took over , it was not really about merely inspection and maintaining health standard. It was about restoring a 'Titanic' decline of CQC's reputation . The pendulum swung from one extreme of complacency(and debatably corruption) to the other extreme of over-regulation with quick knee jerk reflex.After all , CQC is an establishment and its reputation is paramount to itself.
    Nobody will doubt there is a strong need to ensure the 'bad' apples are identified in the system especially after all these scandals. But it does not warrant an operation of witch-hunting with extreme paranoia .
    The pre-emptive attacks on general practice with intelligence monitoring said it all . The choice of word 'intelligence' merely reminds me of CIA , MI5. One thing one has to always remember is 'bad apples' still represent minority in figures and CQC was misguiding the public with a preliminary report generalising theories. The definition of transparency was twisted.After all , the intelligence was proven to be wrong in many cases( reminds me of intelligence in weapon of mass destruction) Meanwhile , this also led to a all time low relationship between the profession and CQC ,at a critical point of history of NHS.
    While all evidences are suggesting this government is on its way destroying NHS, CQC is standing away from this 'biggest culprit' which potentially is harming our patients.
    Of course , CQC is NOT an outstanding organisation .

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  • Vinci Ho

    Absolutely loved the term 'panting puppy' used by BBC news to describe the relationship between China and UK yesterday.
    I guess we are having a few panting puppies(of the government) running around in NHS

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  • 'Needs improvement' = we need more public money to do our job more effectively i.e. pay us well and in return we will put as much pressure on the nhs so the public will allow you to privatize it into the hands of corporations.

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  • Enlightening Vinci, great post.

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