Why CQC fails to regulate care correctly
The Centre for Welfare Reform has published a new discussion paper outlining the systemic failures of the care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) whose design makes it incapable of effectively protecting people from abuse or improving standards of care.
The author of the paper, John Burton, argues that CQC does more harm than good:
"The Care Quality Commission is not effective or responsive; it doesn’t understand how social care works; it rarely uncovers neglect and abuse, and it responds too slowly when they are brought to its attention; its judgements are flawed and its ratings inaccurate and unhelpful; its inspection reports are poorly written and constructed; it costs much more than it should and imposes vast unnecessary costs on social care providers; it dominates and distorts the whole social care sector, and the organisation is blinkered, risk averse, top heavy and hopelessly bureaucratic."
He goes on to propose that the regulation of social care, like social care itself, should be a local service with inspection and monitoring based in local neighbourhoods and be responsive, responsible and accountable to local communities.
Currently CQC's care regulation costs about £100 million per year and is funded primarily by recipients of care services themselves. For example, someone living in a small care home will pay a total of £627 for an inspection report that will be written in bureaucratic language, be based on the wrong measures of quality and whose overall impact will be to damage the real quality of support in the home.
This is national scandal, but as the Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform, Dr Simon Duffy, stated:
"CQC may be too big to fail. The illusion that it is performing a useful function is critical to Government policy. As severe cuts and rising costs savage an already inadequate social care system, it may be that the Government will not want to address these problems. For the CQC adds a patina of respectability to its failed policies. Moreover the power of CQC is such that even those who know that it does not work will not speak out, afraid that this would harm their ratings or their status within the social care community. However John Burton has carried out an important pubic service in being prepared to speak truthfully about the inadequacy of CQC and it is to be hoped that others will join us in calling for its reform."
The paper is available to read and download at: