On 22 May we wrote to the Care Quality Commission expressing our disappointment with the role they have taken during the Covid-19 pandemic, and urging them to urgently reconsider their approach to ensure the rights of people using care services are protected. The letter was covered in several national newspapers, including the Observer, Independent and the Telegraph as well as local and trade press.
We have yet to receive a reply to our letter, but in a statement published in the Observer, Ian Trenholm, the Chief Executive of the CQC, said:
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic our regulatory role and core purpose to keep people safe has been at the heart of all decisions we have made. This role has not changed – to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.”
He said that they had decided to stop routine inspections to limit infection spread. “But we are continuing to inspect in response to whistleblowing concerns and where we see evidence of risk of harm, deliberate abuse, systematic neglect or a significant breakdown in leadership. We will use our powers, or work with the relevant system partners, to take action against those responsible where we find unsafe or poor care.”
“Those who work in social care have never had a more crucial – or a more challenging – role to play. We will continue to support the adult social care sector and its staff as they do everything they can to keep people safe, but it is clear that more support is needed, from every part of the system, as these staff go to extraordinary lengths to protect those in their care.”