The Care Quality Commission has been failing whistleblowers and putting the lives of vulnerable people in care homes at risk.
The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They inspect, monitor and regulate health services across England, including residential nursing homes. But the Independent’s recent report stated that research from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that the Care Quality Commission has failed to act promptly when they received warnings from whistleblowers about people dying in care homes due to negligence.
The independent reported that since July 2013, there have been over 20 cases where a care home resident has died unexpectedly and at the inquest stage the coroner has advised action should take place in order to stop similar deaths from happening. In more than half of these cases, the Care Quality Commission failed to carry out an inspection.
Failure to address the concerns raised by whistleblowers is highly concerning. If whistleblowing does not prompt action from watchdogs such as the Care Quality Commission it will put people off blowing the whistle all together.
Whistleblowing expert Samantha Mangwana said, “It is absolutely crucial that regulators take action. Where lives are at risk, it is all the more important that concerns are swiftly investigated.
When whistleblowers have taken the difficult step of reporting wrongdoing, the regulator must be seen to respond. How else will whistleblowers have the confidence to come forward?”
Samantha Mangwana is a Principal Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
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