Castlebeck and CQC – Brief Thoughts

Paul Burstow MP addressing a Liberal Democrat ...

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I don’t have time for a long post today, just a few brief thoughts that came to me as I considered the unsurprisingly critical report on Castlebeck by the CQC.

Of course it’s easy to be wise after the event but it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when the CQC comes down hard on Castlebeck after it required a TV undercover programme to uncover the widespread abuse at Winterbourne View. Where is our faith in the CQC? Well, personally, I didn’t have any to begin with but this report is not a solution, it smacks of a desperation to gain any kind of public recognition of the CQC itself rather than a real attempt to improve any system of regulation.

Regulation costs. Good regulation costs. In the week that the Ofsted is planning two week, unannounced inspections of childrens’ services, I ask why services for adults have been allowed to be neglected?

Yesterday I heard Paul Burstow on the radio on my way home. Two things struck me, firstly that he didn’t seem to have any understanding of the difference between a hospital such as Winterbourne View and a care home. He  seemed to be happy to blame local commissioners for the quality of the placements that they commissioned in hospitals without an understanding of what had led to this situation – namely chasing the lowest prices.  He still is banging on about his so-called Excellence scheme which, if anything, will make things worse as I wrote here. The Excellence scheme is opt-in and it is for companies to pay to be a part of. That is not about excellence, that is about money-making.

The CQC should be demanding excellence from every single service it inspects. Every day. It doesn’t. It demands sufficient paperwork every couple of years, at most. That is how it inspects. Actually, the CQC doesn’t inspect any more. It does not have enough people to inspect, control and check.

We have allowed companies like Castlebeck to rake in millions of pounds of profits on the back of providing poor care to vulnerable residents and patients. We have allowed this because noone is calling the CQC and the government to account for destroying adult care services.

The CQC criticising Castlebeck – of course it will but remember this is on the back of one television programme with hidden cameras. What about the thousands of homes without hidden cameras? Where are the checks? Where is the scrutiny? Where is the excellence?

6 thoughts on “Castlebeck and CQC – Brief Thoughts

  1. Yes – will Margaret Flynn be listened to? Will her report make any difference? We know CQC is not fit for purpose – OFSTED will not be far behind. Our most vulnerable members of society are being placed at great risk. It is not just about money – attitudes must change as well.

  2. Politicians dont care about facts and truth, just about deflecting responsibility from themselves.
    It looks as if C/B employed staff then failed to equip/support them to do their job, but conveniently are able to bask in the horror of their behaviour like eveyone else,, taking no responsibility themselves.
    The Murdochs say they knew nothing about phone hacking, whilst raking in the cash from the newspapers, though that money was really only pin money of course, not of any real account, so who can blame them for not taking responsibility either.
    There is so much rotten in how we do things, and strangely, those at the “top”, dont pay, the most vulnerable do.

  3. A very similar, and far more systematic, difficulty can be heard through the link below below. Winterbourne View concerned very vulnerable adults. The account that can be heard through the link concerns very vulnerable children. The same themes apply – private companies focused on profit and an ineffectual inspection regime (in this case OFSTED). All the background information is availble on the blog and there is a link to a recent article in the BJSW. Winterbourne View is now closed, the programme described here is still running.

  4. This story is gut-wrenching. Privatized care appears to be taking the quality of social care back to the standard of early asylums.

  5. Hard not to be cynical about the CQC’s sudden virtuous spurt of activity around Castleback premises.

    I wonder how many large care home groups would stand up to such an intense level of scrutiny?

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